AUGUST 2017

AUGUST  2017
FACING DOWN THE RULERS OF WALL STREET A HUNDRED YEARS AGO. THEY ARE BACK.

Translate

Amazon Contextual Product Ads

Friday, January 16, 2015

CORRUPTION

I sympathize with the stupid, stupid thing Governor William Langer (above) did on the night of Tuesday 17 July, 1934. He was frustrated. He had been outmaneuvered, railroaded and thoroughly screwed over by his political opponents. The North Dakota Supreme Court had just validated his exile and he was facing two years in prison and disbarment. He'd spent the day commiserating with ten friends in the governor's mansion. The dedicated temperance man might even have been a little drunk. If he was, that would help explain why, late that night, “Wild Bill” locked the font door of executive mansion and signed a declaration that he was succeeding from the union, and taking 680,000 people and 71,000 square miles with him. North Dakota was now a brand new country, where the national tree was the telephone pole, and the national motto was “I'm not paying for that.”
Wild Bill” lived up to his nickname during his 1932 gubernatorial campaign, telling voters, “Shoot the banker, if he comes for your farm. Treat him like a chicken thief.” It was a popular message. That year 76,000 North Dakota farms had been sold at bank auctions, but the repossessions were not helping the small banks: of the 900 operating in North Dakota in 1920, by 1933, barely a third were still open, and that number continued to drop. Nationally, $140 billion – $2.5 trillion in today's money - in uninsured customer deposits had simply vanished. Almost every farmer in the cash starved state was “upside down” on their loans The unemployment rate in North Dakota had risen from 9.4% in 1930 to 27.3% in 1933. Wild Bill goaded his supporters, “There can be no return to prosperity in North Dakota that does not begin with the farmer.” But Governor Langer was just trying to catch up to a radicalized public.
In February a crowd of a thousand stopped a farm seizure and sale, and in March a group pulled guns on a sheriff, burning the foreclosure papers on another farm. In response Governor Langer called up the National Guard – and ordered them to stop all such sales. Then, in October, with the price of wheat hitting an all time low, Langer closed the state's borders to all wheat exports. The embargo was short lived, ending before the railroads and banks got a court order over turning it. But the the price of wheat did rise a few cents, and convinced farmers the government was on their side. The governor did not have the legal authority to do such things, and in traditional Republican circles Langer was denounced as a dictator. Amazingly, neither extra-legal action had anything to do with his 1934 indictment.
Winning the 1932 election had almost bankrupted the Republican Non Partisan League of North Dakota. Governor Langer even had to loan his party $21,000 out of his own pocket. And if the party was to survive a rematch with the traditional Republican establishment in 1934, they were going to have to raise cash. That summer Langer began republishing the old NPL weekly newspaper “The Leader”. And he pressured state employees to buy a year's subscription, equal to 5% of their salary. It was a common practice in many states at the time to require workers to donate to the party in power, but at least in North Dakota, for every additional subscriptions a state worker sold, an equal dollar amount would be returned. It made every state worker a salesman for the NPL.
The Governor's plan might have worked except for fellow NPL Republican and U.S. Senator, Gerald P. Nye (above), aka “Gerald the Giant-Killer”. He earned his nickname by uncovering the Tea Pot Dome scandal in the Harding administration. He and Langer were both afflicted with the puritanical egotism that had repeatedly splintered the NPL and prevented it from dominating North Dakota politics. Nye began urging the federal Justice Department to investigate his old political "frenemy", William Langer.
After reviewing Senator Nye's allegations, newly appointed federal prosecutor, Democrat Powless William (P.W.) Lanier (above) thought he'd found “an offense...that is indictable.” Roosevelt's New Deal
was funding 2,300 miles of road improvements and 60 new bridges across North Dakota. And that made the members of the state highway department technically federal employees, covered by federal corruption laws. A federal Grand Jury was convened in Bismark to hear the evidence on 8 March, 1934. They refused to return an indictment. So P.W. convened a second jury on 10 April, but this time, carefully selected its members. Of the 23 jurors, twenty were city residents, in a state that was still heavily rural, and 22 had previously made public statements opposed to the NPL. P.W. kept the hand picked juries' indictment a secret until 16 May, the same day Governor Langer announced his campaign for re-election. But the case was really decided when it was assigned to the court of federal Judge Andrew Miller.
Judge Miller (above) was another Harding appointee, but before that, as a private attorney, he had defended the railroads when the South Dakota Attorney General had sued them for $2 million in back taxes. The A.G. who won that judgment and humiliated lawyer Miller had been William Langer. And even though Federal Prosecutor Lanier agreed to postpone the the trial until after the Republican primary - with so few Democrats in North Dakota, winning the primary was paramount to winning the general election - Judge Miller refused to delay the trial.  In an arraignment that took only fourteen minutes, Miller went a step further, ruling the defense could not mention Langer's loan to the NPL, making it seem “The Leader” subscriptions were pure graft. And then he required the sitting Governor, accused of a non-violent crime, to post bail.
The trial, which opened on Tuesday, 22 May, 1934, charged Governor Langer (above) with two related offenses: conspiracy to extort funds from federal employees, and blocking the orderly operation of an act of congress. As the case was handed over to the jury, Governor Langer could sense what was coming, and on Thursday, 12 July, he tried an end run. Arguing that only the legislature had the power to remove a sitting governor, “Wild Bill” called for a special session to investigate his actions. 
Tensions began to mount while Bismark filled with Langer supporters (above) and opponents.   Then, after sixty hours of deliberation, at 12:26 in the morning of Sunday, 17 July, the jury convicted William Langer on both counts.
Judge Miller could not help gloating, admitting he was delighted and pleased by the verdict. “You have earned the confidence and respect of the whole state,” he told his jury, adding for some reason“Your verdict...(is) the result of honest conviction without fear or favor.” Then, bright and early Monday morning, Lieutenant Governor Ole Olson (above), asked the state Supreme Court to answer a simple question – since the state constitution said convicted felons lost all rights of citizenship, was the newly convicted William Langer still Governor? The court had to answer “No”. But they also refused to rule on William's ability to  stand for re-election until after his sentencing. 
And as his first official act, “Governor” Ole Olson rescinded the call for a special session of the legislature. The next day, Tuesday, 18 July, “Wild Bill” Langer, easily won the Republican primary for Governor.
About 10:30 that night, with ten friends as witnesses, “Wild Bill” (above left) declared himself and his state a new nation, conceived in bitterness and dedicated to the proposition that William Langer was getting screwed. Luckily somebody convinced “Wild Bill” not to tell many people about his bold move, or he might have been removed for mental incompetence. On Sunday, 22 July, Governor Langer assured the 94 out of 159 members of the legislature who showed up for the special session anyway, “I want this legislative assembly to investigate how the federal government and officials have persecuted me with the advice and aid of Senator. Gerald P. Nye...I am still your governor. If I have been guilty of any corrupt conduct...I want this legislative assembly to impeach and remove me from office.” Dutifully, his supporters voted to begin impeachment proceedings against not only Ole Olson, but the entire State Supreme Court too.
That night there was a quiet meeting between a calmer William Langer and the entire state supreme court. They managed to reason with “Wild Bill”, who moved the sofa away from the front door of the executive mansion, and resigned. The constitutional crises in North Dakota had been averted. The union of states was saved, again. Of course, William Langer still refused to leave the mansion (above) until what would have been the end of his term.
That fall Senator Nye and the “Governor” Olsen threw their support behind Democrat Thomas Moodie (above) for Governor...
allowing him to beat Lydia Langer (above, right), “Wild Bill”'s wife.  Then, in February of 1935, the State Supreme Court ruled that Moodie had not met the five year residency requirement for state office holders.
That made Lieutenant Governor Walter Welford (above, seated) the fourth Governor of North Dakota in four months.
It wasn't until 7 May, 1935 that the Federal Appeals Court overturned “Wild Bill”'s conviction and ordered a new trial. Judge Miller refused to recuse himself, and at the new trial managed to at least get a hung jury, 10 to 2 for conviction. Langer immediately appealed again, and the Appeals Court again ordered a new trial, this time ordering Judge Miller to step aside. Prosecutor Lanier responded by charging Langer with committing perjury in his appeal filing. First a new trial jury, under an impartial judge, found William Langer (above, left)  “not guilty” of corruption. Then the judge in the perjury trial found the supposed falsehoods were merely personal opinion, and ordered a directed verdict of not guilty. The following year, in 1936, William Langer ran again for Governor, and won again. Senator Nye growled, “Langer has more lives than a cat.”
While these intense political battles were raging,  the state of North Dakota was burning up and blowing away.  The dry year of 1933 (just 13 inches of rain) was followed by the drought year of 1934 (9.4 inches). That September a plague of locusts descended on the state . There were 4 inches of grasshoppers on the streets of Killdeer. After the Dust Bowl Years, North Dakota lost so many citizens, the population would not return to 1930 levels until the year 2010. But the politicians have not changed.  Did anybody expect them to?

- 30 -

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

LINKS IN A CHAIN

I can tell you the very moment the chain was broken.  At 4:55 p.m., Howard and Marjorie Boggs were returning from a Christmas shopping trip to the river side town of Gallipolis, Ohio. Marjorie, who was just 18, was driving. And as they crossed the half mile wide Ohio River, bound for Point Pleasant, West Virginia, Howard remembered “the old bridge began to gently bounce, as always” - as it had done every day for the last forty years. But on this December day, perhaps it felt different. Perhaps Marjorie was more sensitives because her 15 month old child was also in the car. Whatever the cause, Marjorie turned to her husband Howard and asked, “What would we do if this thing were to break up?”.
Since the middle of the twentieth century, West Virginia has had only two exports: coal and people. The old joke said “The Mountaineer State" school children studied their three “R's” - reading, 'righting and route 35. Over the decade of the 1950's one in four residents - almost half a million people- took the “Hillbilly Highway” north, looking for work and new homes.
And the choke point for most of this coal miner diaspora occurred 265 miles downstream from Pittsburgh, at a single two lane link just upstream of the mouth of Kanawha River and just downstream from a C.and O. railroad bridge,  between the tiny villages of Point Pleasant, West Virginia and Gallipolis, Ohio (above).
The design was put out for bids in 1926 by West Virginia. It called for three separate bridges, tied together. Beginning in downtown Point Pleasant, the two lane, 22 foot wide roadbed crossed a standard 380 foot truss bridge to the southern pier in the Ohio River. For the next 700 feet, the road would be suspended by twisted steel cables hanging between two 510 foot towers. From the northern pier a second truss bridge carried the road 380 feet to the Ohio shore, and a 400 foot approach ramp. But the primary subcontractor for the winning bid, had a couple of suggestions.
First, the American Bridge Company wanted to raise the northern pier by eight feet, to give the roadbed 102 feet of clearance over the barges that used the river. And secondly, they suggested replacing the steel cables with a new technology – 45 to 55 foot long bone-shaped heat treated steel I-bars, joined into chains.  I-bar chains had a century of use behind them, but this would be the first time the new heat treated steel bars with a maximum working stress of 50,000 pounds per square inch, would be used in America.
Eyelets drilled at the ends of each I-bar allowed an 11” diameter steel bolt, washer and nut to lock adjoining bars into a chain, or into a sealed triangular junction which transferred the horizontal load of the roadbed to the vertical towers. The stronger steal would require just a single I-bar on each side of the chain, and the “give” designed into the joints allowed the load to be transferred as traffic moved across the structure. Because they were forged off site and were quickly assembled on site, construction cost was just $825 thousand, and was completed in just six months. The new bridge, painted silver, opened on Memorial Day, 1928 A rain storm failed to dampen the inaugural day spirits. As the “The Engineering News Record” crowed,  the Silver Bridge would last 100 years.
It was later estimated the new bridge added $1 million a month to the local economy, the traffic growing to 4,000 vehicle crossings a day, 340 cars and trucks every hour. But built to spur the economy of West Virginia, it instead become a link in an immigration chain that ran north from Charleston to Point Pleasant, and then Columbus or Cincinnati, Ohio, and the steel belt beyond - St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
During the 1960's the population of West Virginia fell by another quarter of a million, an exodus of another 44 people every day heading north. The joke now went, St. Peter was giving a tour to a new arrival in heaven. When asked about a section surrounded by a wall, he explained, “Oh, that's where we put the West Virginians. Otherwise they all try to go back home on the weekends.” And each year, between Thanksgiving and New Years, the back splash of homesick exiles became a tidal wave, filling the country roads with nostalgic melancholy expatriates returning home to West Virginia.
As with any chain, there were weak links. The Point Pleasant (above) approach terminated at a traffic light at the corner of Sixth and Main streets. Every red light cycle backed up traffic onto the bridge. Another traffic light on the Ohio side added to the load, and the redundancy was further stretched by progress. 
In 1928 (above),  the average fully loaded truck weighed 5,500 pounds, or 2 ¼ tons. Thirty years later the weight of a tractor-trailer was up to 60,000 pounds, or 30 tons. By 1967 such trucks were 20% of the traffic crossing the Silver Bridge, and rush hour, particularly during the holiday season, had extended until it lasted all day long.  The bridge seemed to deal with this increased load easily, in part because, as was noted by “The Engineering News Record” back in 1928, it was not possible to examine the underlying I-bar in the triangular joints, nor was it possible to make “any adjustments in the chains...after erection.”
The state gave the Silver Bridge a “full inspection” on 8 and 9 April, 1965, and $30,000 was spent on repairs to the roadway, replacing peeling paint, and patching some erosion on the chain anchorages. But inspector Paul McDowell admitted later he completed only 11 of the 21 standard checks. Lack of funding prevented him doing a full, eyes on, examination of the links before using his “engineering judgment”,  to declare the bridge “structurally safe”.  When the bridge was checked again on 6 December 1967, the maintenance engineer used binoculars to check the I-bar chain links, and saw nothing of concern. Ten days later, just after 4:50 on the cold Friday afternoon of 16 December, 1967,  Lloyd Forge, a semiretired welder from Point Pleasant, was crossing the bridge when he spotted a large steel nut lying in the road bed near the Ohio shore. It was, according to all reports, the first evidence of any failure to any structural part of the bridge. And it was already too late to do anything about it.
Five minutes later, at the intersection of Ohio Route 7 and U.S. route 35 (above), a hundred feet north from the Ohio approach ramp, Mr. H.L. Whobrey was loading the evening's first sale from his Christmas tree lot into the trunk of a customer's car, when he heard what sounded like an auto crash on the bridge. To gas station owner Dick Kuhn, working on the south side of the same intersection, it echoed like a shotgun blast fired from under the bridge. Other witnesses heard a jet -like roar., or a clanging noise. Bank employee, Roger Wysell was eastbound on Route 7, and had just pulled up to the traffic light at the intersection with Route 35,  between Whobrey and Kuhn, when his passenger, Cathy Zuspan, screamed, “My God the bridge is falling.”.
A half mile south, Bob Rimmey was parked in front of the Point Pleasant court house, a block from the bridge, when he head a loud crack. He could see nothing from where he sat, so he stepped out of his car. In the distance he saw the Silver Bridge swaying, and watched one tower after the other fall, then saw the roadway pitch over to one side and collapse into the 42 degree water. It took less than a minute before it was over. He ran toward the bridge.
Looking up from the tree he had just loaded, Mr. Whobrey saw “the bridge just keel over, starting slowly on the Ohio side, then following like a deck of cards to the West Virginia side...I saw it but I didn't believe it”  The last car to clear the collapsing bridge pulled into Whobrey's parking lot and screeched to a stop. Whobrey noted the driver “...looked like a ghost. He just sat there - then he was sick right in the car.” Station owner Kuhn ran to the riverbank and watched a truck floating south with the current. "There was a guy hanging onto the roof yelling his head off. I think they got him off.” There were now, just seven minutes of daylight left.
A half mile away, 20 year old Charlene Wood was heading home from her job at a hair salon. She was 5 months pregnant and had just driven her yellow Pontiac through the traffic light at Main and Sixth streets in Point Pleasant. “I was traveling in the right lane about 15 miles an hour when this car in front of me started going in...I felt a shaking of the bridge...I threw my car in reverse. The shaking was so severe my car died, but it kept rolling back because of the incline. As I was watching in horror, the bridge was falling right in front of my eyes. It was like someone had lined up dominoes in a row, and gave them a push, and they all came falling down and there was a great big splash of water. I could see car lights flashing as they were tumbling into the water. The car in front of me went in. Then there was silence”
A few seconds later Bob Rimmy and a West Virginia State Police officer reached the yellow Pontiac just four feet from the broken end of the roadway. Charlene Wood's hands were frozen on the steering wheel, and she did not respond to their shouts. Rimmy and the officer helped Charlene out of her car and back to safety. Four months later she would give birth to twins.
Young Howard Boggs did not remember the fall, or escaping from the car. He did recall feeling the river bottom , thirty feet down, under his feet . When a Gallopolis ice and fuel boat pulled him from the cold water, he told his rescuer, “I just hope to God Marjorie and the kid got out okay.” His wife and baby were pulled out of the river, still inside their crushed car, six weeks later.
Volunteer fireman Lee Long responded to the call and found a scene of confusion. “It was a hell of a mess”, he told a reporter. “I saw this car float past. It looked like there were people inside beating their hands on the windows....We couldn't see very much, but we could sure hear it."
"There was a tractor-trailer rig hanging on the riverbank, partly in the water. The driver was hanging from the open door of the cab, dead. Then we heard this banging from the back...it was the driver's partner who'd been sleeping...We worked two hours to cut him out of there...Standing there naked except for his shorts...Man, was he shivering. Then he saw his partner, and he just broke up.”
Sixty-four people in 31 vehicles were dropped into the river or on the Ohio approach.. Forty-four of them died, most by drowning or from severe trauma.  
Two of the dead were lost to the Ohio River. Eighteen others survived.
It was later decided that the break began with a speck of impurity in the steel of one particular I-bar, labeled as C-31, used to form the second link in the western chain from the top of the north tower. Hidden beneath a locking nut, it took forty years of heat and cold, tension and release, to expand to one tenth of an inch in length. 
At that instant, it went critical, snapping through the lower side of the eye-let. The I-bar shifted outward the next time it flexed. That threw the locking nut onto the roadway, and left the entire load of the bridge, the steel, the roadbed, the traffic, the human beings, a 15 month old baby, balanced on half of an unhinged I-bar. It could not carry the load and gave way. 
That transferred the entire load to the opposing chain link, which gave way. Like the collapsing floors in the World Trade Center on 9/11, each successive member of the bridge was now asked to carry even more weight than the failed member before it.  Each link thus failed in their turn more quickly, until the entire structure of the bridge fell in less than sixty seconds.  
The engineering lesson was, as it had been before and will be again, that redundancy must be designed into  entire structure, not merely in the individual members of those structures. .
The lives of 15 month old infants are simply too valuable to risk on a single support.. 
- 30 - 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

AMERICAN NARCISSIST

I can see him clearly, as if he was standing next to me at this moment. And yet his image remains hazy. According to his drivers' license, he was five feet, nine inches tall, weighed 150 pounds and had gray hair. He was also described as “ ...a slight hollow-chested man”, of 46, with thin lips. And yet he remains an enigma. A neighbor, when shown several photographs of him, said, “ "I knew him well and he never looked like that.” And he was not just a physical enigma. Howard Kittle, the Clinton County agent and Farm Bureau manager, received a letter from him, and admitted that if anyone else had written it “I would have thought sure he was insane.'” But that was before - when he was an elected community leader, a trusted guardian of the communities' wealth and its future. Afterward - the Clinton County Republican-News was forced to wonder, “Is the building of a modern institution which equips children to meet the problems of the world a burden - or is it a privilege?” You see, the man at issue was a anti-tax warrior and an American narcissist.
Bath in 1927 was a little farm town of about 300 people 10 miles northeast of Lansing, Michigan. “(It) had a ( grain) elevator, a little drugstore, and you knew everybody within 20 miles” said a life long resident. In 1922 rural Clinton County closed its scattered one room school houses. They used $8,000 of their own hard earned money to buy five acres of ground just south of Bath. They borrowed $35,000 to build a two story Consolidated School building. Here, classes would be divided by ages, to protect the younger children from older bullies. With fewer teachers, higher standards could be required of the instructors, even a college teaching degree. And amenities such as a library, lunch programs, athletics, music and art were added. And buses picked children up at their front doors and returned them safely home each night. It was the foundation for the secure world we grew up in. And it was not cheap.
The future always costs. You either invest in it now, or, if you refuse, it proves much more expensive trying to catch up.  In 1922 property taxes in Clinton county were $12.26 per thousand dollars of valuation ($160 today, or over $16%). In 1923 those taxes had gone up by half to $18.80 ($235 today). This was not the decision of a few liberals. This was debated for years within the community. And over time the decision was made to invest in the future of Clinton County,  in the counties' children, and spend the money. Three years later, eager to eliminate the debt quickly, the elected leaders of Clinton County paid off $7,200 of their obligation, and taxes topped out at one dollar higher (to $240 per thousand in today's dollars). It was expected taxes would now start to drop, but that did not take into account the rising inflation of the late 1920's, and the selfishness of one egomaniac who chose not to have a future.
I shall not use his name because of something Neil Kaye, forensic psychiatrist at Jefferson Medical College told Time Magazine in April of 2007.  He said, “We glorify and revere these seemingly powerful people who take life. Meanwhile, I bet you couldn't tell me the name of even one of (serial killer) Ted Bundy's victims.” So let me just share headline from the New York Times, dated Wednesday, 18 May, 1927, to explain who this man was, by what this man did.  “Maniac blows up school, kills 42, mostly children; Had protested high taxes...Children Pinned in Debris. Others hurled against walls or out windows – Searchers still hunt for missing. Agonizing scenes in yard. Distraught parents find little ones dead beneath blankets...”. The early numbers were wrong, of course. The maniac killed eight adults and 34 children at the school, that day. The last little victim, nine year old Richard Fitz, would die of an infection caused by his injuries, a week short of a year after the Bath School Disaster. And that was the name of one of this selfish bastard's victims.
Just before he murdered 34 children, the maniac had bludgeoned his wife to death, restrained all his animals in a burning barn, killed every fruit tree on his farm, and burned all his expensive farm equipment. Interestingly, it was figured by the cleanup crews, that he could have paid off his mortgage and his property taxes by selling most of his well maintained farm equipment, which, according to his neighbors, he rarely used.  Neighbor M.J. “Monty” Ellsworth wrote later, “He was at the height of his glory when fixing machinery or tinkering...He spent so much time tinkering that he didn't prosper.”  The maniac also stood out, as a farmer, for his meticulous appearance. He changed his shirt quickly should a spot of dirt appear on it and was often seen sitting on his front porch, in a smoking jacket,  puffing on a cigar.  But his primary interest, his obsession, was in cutting taxes.
The maniac had been elected to the school board in 1924, two years after the new school had opened and the first election after the new higher tax rate had been announced. His platform was to cut the cost of the new school. In 1925, after the death of Maude Detluff, the board's treasure, he had been appointed to fill that position. His book keeping was, like his appearance, meticulous. After his suicide, his books showed  “a long and detailed explination” of a 22 cent discrepancy. But in the spring of 1926, when he ran for election to officially take on that job, the voters had rejected him. Once again, the majority approved investment in the future  That rejection appears to have sparked the fuse. The maniac stopped paying the mortgage or insurance on his farm. The previous owner, his wife's relatives, eventually began foreclosure proceedings  His crops began to rot in the fields.
There is a story that decades earlier, a promising career as an electrician in St. Louis had been cut short by a fall and a serious head injury.  So farming was the maniac's second choice. He married and moved to Clinton county right after the First World War. He might have over paid for his farm, because land prices were inflated at time. And his wife was afflicted with tuberculosis, a wasting disease before antibiotics. The Klu Klux Klan would even alleged his Catholicism encouraged him to destroy the school because it was not a Catholic school. But even if all of that were true, none of it would justify the cold blooded murder of 34 innocent children, and nine adults, and the farm animals. All the maniac could focus on was HIS taxes.
Before the school was built, he had opposed it. Once it was decided to build it, he insisted it should be a 10 grade institution, instead of 12. He opposed the inclusion of a library, or athletic programs or a music department . And he lost every argument. Once the building was constructed, the tax increase gave him  enough supporters to win election to the school board, where his obstinacy continued. He even opposed giving the superintendent a paid vacation each year, and then argued it should only be one week, not two. And as he lost each of these arguments, his obsession grew, day by day. Words used to describe him during this time were “surly”, “obstinate”, “impatient” and “arrogant”.  Eventually he began to invest his money not in his farm, or his wife,  but in World War surplus explosives, and to sneak them into the basement of the school house, rig them with a timer and set them to explode early on a Wednesday morning,  just after classes had begun.
The day after the bombing,  while still in shock and grief,  the Clinton Country Republican ran an editorial, which explains, far better than I ever could, the connection between the maniac's crime and his anti-tax fever. “That he was insane there is little doubt. But he was not always insane. To start with he was merely antagonistic. Then he became radical.. He was the victim of the progress of his own lack of balance...What a terrible price to pay for narrow-mindedness. What an awful calamity for one peaceful little community to bear for one man's lack of ordinary American ideals...Never before have we known of aversion of the cost of education taking such terrible form. There are, however, many people who unthinkingly hamper and discourage the progress of good schools and other institutions for the welfare and happiness of the public. What are we going to do about it?”
It is almost a century later, and the question begs to be asked of the nation which elected an admitted rapist President, and the power hungry unChristian unRight, - those who object to investing in the future because they do not believe they have one. What are the rest of us going to do about it?  And the answer appears this dawn of the Trump Presidency - NOT A DAMN THING.
- 30 -

Blog Archive

Amazon Deals