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Wednesday
Mar022016

Political Mudslinging, 2016 - Only 1828 Style?

Do you wish for the good ole days of very civil run politics? ..Then think again!  It hasn't changed much except many people's memories and some who even try to rewrite history to benefit hidden agendas.  ...Ahem! Like the current day political press and pundits?  After all, it's politics as usual and it's not right to blame Donald Trump's for rude remarks or bombastic behavior or am I really talking about Hillary Clinton instead?  Please read on and make your own minds up; then when this election takes off don't draw back in horror on what was said or done --it's par for the course--get over it and just vote!  

If you think this presidential campaign season is notable for its mudslinging, it’s a good thing you weren’t around in 1828. That’s when American electioneering became modern in the race between incumbent President John Quincy Adams and challenger Andrew Jackson. Earlier campaigns had seen some rough stuff, but the electorate was small and communication poor.

Freewheeling newspapers, advanced printing techniques for circulars and posters and better transportation methods coincided with the rise of universal manhood suffrage. And the bad blood between Adams and Jackson went back to the election of 1824, when Adams whipped Jackson, who had the most popular votes, in a decision rendered by the House of Representatives.

John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson in the 1820s.ENLARGE
John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson in the 1820s. PHOTO: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

The campaign between the two men started more than 14 months before the 1828 election; it was an era when candidates were selected by state conventions, not at national nominating conventions. And these two couldn’t have been more unalike—Adams, the Harvard-educated son of a president, and Jackson, the rugged son of the frontier who made his name in the military.

The attacks poured out from the candidates’ followers, surrogates and partisan newspapers. Jackson supporters accused Adams of having premarital relations with his wife and Jacksonian newspapers called him “The Pimp,” procuring young girls for Czar Alexander I when he was minister to Russia. Adams’s stewards contended that Jackson’s mother was “a common prostitute, brought to this country by the British soldiers.”

Adams, according to the Jacksonians, was a “lordly, purse-proud” aristocrat “feeding at the public trough.” He decorated the White House with fancy furniture, including a billiard table described as a front for a “gambling den.” The biggest critique was that the president had made a “corrupt bargain” with House Speaker Henry Clay to garner the necessary votes to become president in 1824, given that Clay was later appointed by Adams to be secretary of state.

Adams’s supporters lashed out at Jackson as a drunkard, duelist and cockfighter—and a man who couldn’t even spell “Europe” (he spelled it “Urope”). Jackson’s wife, Rachel, was called variously a “whore” and an “adulteress,” because she married Jackson before her divorce was final. This was an unspeakable offense, according to the Cincinnati Gazette, for “the highest office of this free and Christian land.” Another unkind cut: Rachel was fat.

Jackson won the election, but Rachel died of a heart attack in December 1828, before he took office. At her funeral, the campaign was clearly still fresh in Jackson’s mind. “In the presence of this dear saint,” he said, “I can and do forgive all my enemies. But those vile wretches who have slandered her must look to God for mercy.”

Credit: Mr. DiBacco who is professor emeritus at American University in Washington, D.C.

 

Monday
Sep212015

Obama 2015 & Hitler 1938 - Both Big Deal Failures

Obama's big nuke deal is "turn the other cheek" on steroids. Iran has been at war against us since 1979, when Obama was just a dope smoking child. And Iran has sponsored more terrorism and murdered more Americans than any other country since…Without Iran there would be no Syrian al-Assad, no Palestinian Hamas, no Islamic I.S.I.S. and no Lebanese Hezbollah!

So how does America respond to Iran? ... 

  • By giving Iran hundreds of billions of dollars in frozen assets.

The Iran deal will provide a $150 billion cash windfall as sanctions are eased with an additional $20 billion per year in oil revenues, making the deal worth $420 billion over 15 years. If so, the Iran deal would give more cash to Iran than the $124.3 billion U.S. has given in total aid to Israel since 1948.

  • By allowing Iran self-inspections of nuclear sites for rules infractions. 
  • By promising Iran protection of nuclear plants by the U.S. if attacked.  

That's how Obama's America responds to the murder of Americans; by making it easier for Iran to murder more Americans without fear. And knowing there are no real consequences, who wonders why Putin has publicly shown such contempt for America with impunity?

This Iranian deal is a thousand times more reprehensible than that piece of worthless paper Neville Chamberlain brought back from his 1938 meeting with Adolph Hitler: 

In 1919, at the end of the First World War in The Treaty of Versailles the map of Europe was re-drawn where several new countries were formed which was intended to make a lasting peace. Hitler, however, coveted and wanted the return of annexed German land. Many people felt that the Treaty had caused terrible resentment in Germany on which Hitler had been able to play in order to achieve power. Some governments believed that Hitler and Germany had genuine grievances, but that if these could be met (‘appeased’) Hitler would be satisfied and become less demanding.

As a result of The Treaty of Versailles, three million Germans found themselves living in a part of Czechoslovakia called the Sudetenland and when Adolf Hitler came to power, he wanted to unite all Germans into one nation. Hitler orchestrated and fomented civil unrest with protests to bolster his argument for German unification.

During this situation, the British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, flew toBritish Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, right, speaks to Adolf Hitler's interpreter Paul Schmidt during their meeting at the Hotel Dreesen at Godesberg, Germany, in September 1938 only three days before signing Treaty. meet Hitler at Berchtesgaden, his German Bavarian Alps private mountain retreat in an attempt to resolve the crisis. Hitler was capable of being charming, of lying and of bullying; all personal attributes that truly enhanced his negotiation powers while on his rise.

On September 29, 1938 at Munich, Germany British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain got an international agreement that Hitler should have the Sudetenland in exchange for Germany making no further demands for land in Europe. Chamberlain really believed that Hitler was a man of his word.

Chamberlain said it was ‘Peace for our time’. Hitler said he had ‘NoEger, Czech Republic 1938 - Greet German Troops Soldiers or more territorial demands to make in Europe.’ In the Munich Agreement, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s peace appeasement policy only made war more likely because Hitler thought he could get away with anything.

On October 1, 1938, only two days later, German troops occupied the Sudetenland: Hitler had got what he wanted without firing a shot.

On September 3, 1939, Prime Minister Chamberlain went to the airwaves to announce a state of war with Germany. It was in response to Hitler's invasion of Poland, Britain and France, World War II had begun.

And now because past history has disproved Neville Chamberlain's assumptions, we know better ...or do we? Some apologists erroneously restated later that Chamberlain’s appeasement policy bought a valuable year for Britain to get ready for the war which was bound to come--say what? ...and that was in Chamberlain's plans during those annexation talks?--I don't think so! ...But are we doing that today in Obama's Iranian agreement?

 

Sunday
Aug162015

Spelling on the Blackboard - 98 Years Later

Old 1917 Blackboard Treasures Discovered in Oklahoma

When contractors began work on four classrooms of Emerson High School in Oklahoma, they knew their remodel would improve education - but they never expected it would impact local history.

Looking to upgrade the rooms with new whiteboards and smart boards, the workers had to to first remove the outdated chalkboards. But when they began to pull away the old boards, they made a startling discovery.....  

 

Beneath the current boards rested another set of chalkboards - untouched for nearly 100 years. Protected and totally undisturbed, the century-old writings and drawings looked like they were made just yesterday. Here, a November calendar rolls into December. A turkey marks the celebration of Thanksgiving.  

 

A multiplication table gives us a glimpse into the curriculum and methods taught in 1917, techniques perhaps lost in the passage of time. When regarding a wheel of multiplication, Principal Sherry Kishore told The Oklahoman, “I have never seen that technique in my life.” 

 

But Oklahoma City school officials aren’t just shocked by what is written, but how it is written. Penmanship like this is clearly a lost art. This board reads, “I give my head, my heart, and my life to my God and One nation indivisible with justice for all.”

 

Within each of the four rooms, the subject matter and lessons mirrored one another - indicating, as an Oklahoma Public School Twitter caption reads, “aligned curriculum in 1917.” 

And though the boards’ style and subject matter might be unfamiliar to younger folks,  they certainly resonate with older generations.  Principal Kishore told The Oklahoman what it was like to show her 85-year-old mother the boards:  “She just stood there and cried. She said it was exactly like her classroom was when she was going to school.”

But these boards actually predate Principal Kishore’s mother by 13 years. Two dates were found on the boards: November 30, 1917, and December 4, 1917. 

Some of the writings and drawings were done by students, while others were made by teachers - but it’s not always clear whose is whose.

 

Regardless, the work is a striking look into days long gone. While reading the boards - like this one listing “My Rules To Keep Clean” - the past comes alive in a very personal way. 

 

 

English teacher Cinthea Comer told The Oklahoman, “It was so eerie because the colors were so vibrant it looked like it was drawn the same day. To know that it was drawn 100 years ago…..it’s like you’re going into a looking glass into the past.”

 

Built in 1895, Emerson High School has seen many renovations and improvements throughout the years - but nothing like this has ever been discovered. 

 

When removing old chalkboards in the past, contractors have only found broken pipes and wires, so this is a shocking surprise. Oklahoma City and the school district are now working to preserve these beautiful boards. 

Hopefully, the spirit of these teachers and their students will be enjoyed for many years to come. Who knew that scribbles on a chalkboard could become such a precious piece of history.

Do you remember the “blackboards”?


Wednesday
Jul292015

Michelle Swears in the Oath Ignorant of the Facts

On 18 June 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama attended a ceremony at the National Archives rotunda in Washington, D.C., in which 51 foreign-born immigrants were sworn in as American citizens:

“It’s amazing that just a few feet from here where I’m standing are the signatures of the 56 Founders who put their names on a Declaration that changed the course of history. And like the 50 of you, none of them were born American — they became American."

In Michelle's remarks she noted that the Founding Fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence — like current immigrants to the U.S. — became Americans rather than being born Americans.

What the First Lady was communicating on this occasion was that the Founding Fathers were not born into a fully formed and established America with its own history, customs, culture, and values, as modern American children are; they were born into a very different world as British subjects in a colonial empire, and they chose to seek new opportunities and lives for themselves - just as modern immigrants born outside America choose to transform their worlds by opting to leave their homelands for the United States and seek new lives through becoming Americans.
                                                                                                                                
So there's the history rewrite: the founding fathers actually are not like today's modern immigrants as they had transformed their world into something distinctive through the establishment of a new nation that made them quite different from any immigrants who followed them later--they established American freedoms that others later were seeking, a Constitutional freedom that the rest of the world has never been offered or ever had in history. 
  

In a strictly literal sense none of the Founding Fathers was born in the United States of America, because that country did not exist until they brought it into being through their efforts. It is true that many of the Founding Fathers were born in the original thirteen British colonies that later became the United States of America after those colonies jointly declared their independence from Great Britain in 1776. Michelle Obama’s remarks did not, however, as implied in the example quoted above, express her ignorance of that fact. 

Michelle Obama turned a flag-waving swearing-in ceremony for 50 new American citizens into a platform to call for action on the long-bogged-down issue of immigration reforms by the Obama administration. 

Who were the 56 signators of the Declaration of Independence?



 

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two Lost their sons in the revolutionary army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the revolutionary war.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists, eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners who were men of means and educated. They signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Thursday
Jul232015

Dodd-Frank Bank Bill - 5 Yrs Later

This article is for those readers who enjoy "getting into the weeds." [The origin of this phrase comes from harvesting when your machine or tool is going closer to the ground than necessary to get most of the grain and is picking up weeds along with the crop.]

The stark reality: Dodd-Frank Banking Rules mandate over-regulation so Bank loans will be harder to qualify for and get due to limited funds as bigger Federal deposit reserves are required to cover debt values making even less money to loan to borrowers. 

More than 90% of the electorate does not understand this Banking Bill--a ten second commercial sound bite at election time tells them all what they know--sadly, many eyes glaze over to let politicians think for them!

Grand Central: Dodd-Frank at Five Years, No Victory Laps Please

Senators Christopher Dodd (D - CT) & Barney Frank (D - MA)-By Jon Hilsenrath - Wall Street Journal

Tuesday [July 21, 2015] marks the five-year anniversary of passage of the Dodd-Frank law that overhauled U.S. financial sector regulation. Let the debate now resume about whether the law has made the U.S. financial system safer.

Barney Frank, the former congressman who co-authored the bill, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that it certainly did; a successor as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Tex., says in the WSJ it certainly did not.

In important ways, the financial sector clearly looks in less peril today than it was a few years ago. Financial sector debt has declined from 120% of total U.S. economic output in early 2009 to less than 80% in the fourth quarter, the lowest level in 15 years. Less debt in the financial sector makes the system’s edifice more stable. Banks, brokers, hedge funds, money market funds and others are less prone to panic selling when a shock hits asset values. They’ve got more capital to fall back on when losses hit.

Does Dodd-Frank deserve credit for this development? Not all of it. Much of this decline in financial sector debt took place before Dodd-Frank was enacted in July 2010 and even more of it took place before the law’s major provisions were implemented by regulators.  Banks and others reduced debt because the financial crisis scared them so badly.

The law can’t take full credit for some other important developments that have taken place in the regulatory arena. Federal Reserve officials have regularly described the central bank’s annual stress tests of large financial institutions as its key innovation of the post-crisis era. These annual exams – in which regulators imagine bad scenarios for the economy and financial system and ask banks to show how they would manage these scenarios – were an outgrowth of the government’s 2009 Supervisory Capital Assessment Program, developed during the crisis and preceding Dodd-Frank.

In many other respects, questions still loom over the nation’s financial architecture. The risk of some future financial asset bubble haunts policy makers. Fed officials, for instance, are getting agitated about soaring prices in the commercial real estate sector. Economists haven’t come up with a clear diagnosis of whether low interest rates caused the last bubble; they thus can’t describe what risks lurk behind the present state of even lower rates.

Nor have regulators gotten around to fundamentally restructuring the system of housing finance – notably Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – which was behind the last crisis. The regulatory system that emerged from Dodd-Frank, moreover, remains highly balkanized, a regret Mr. Frank acknowledged in his interview with the WSJ. The law created new institutions, such as the Financial Stability Oversight Council and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, without consolidating old ones like the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

This thickening soup of regulatory agencies is one reason why so many Dodd-Frank rules are taking so long to get written. As this WSJ graphic shows, regulators have missed deadlines on 79 rules that were supposed to be done by now.

Is the financial system safer? By some measures yes. But Wall Street executives and the regulators who oversaw them were – for the most part – highly confident it was safe in 2005 as well. It turned out to be on a precipice. Five years after Dodd-Frank, these players are all best served if they avoid taking victory laps.