Sunday, November 9, 2008

Teddy Roosevelt

I had expressed my opinion some time ago that I felt that neither of the two presidential candidates was up to the task of leading the country through the challenges we are presently facing. My post last week generated lots of dissatisfied comments, and much angry email. My hope had been that it would generate a lively discussion, and some thinking on where we are headed, and what we should do to prepare for some potentially challenging times. I felt that the response, particularly from much of the email was to say that I was an idiot, and that people were unsubscribing from the blog. The facts are that in 2006, over 40% of the mortgages in the country were sub-prime or Alt-A, basically these are the ones that have a very large chance of ending up in foreclosure. These bad mortgages have yet to work their way through the system. As more of these people become unable to pay their house payments, the problem will then move to people not being able to pay their car loans, and then their credit card debt. There is simply no easy fix, and the chances are good that any effort the government makes to ease the pain will simply make things worse. The direction the government is taking is to pump more money into the system, hoping to get things rolling again. Unfortunately, this will balloon the National Debt, as we are spending more into an economic slowdown, where tax revenue will be markedly less, as fewer people are working, and fewer are paying taxes. Over 60% of our national debt is held by foreign entities, much of it by countries that are not exactly our friend. These people are not stupid, and will soon see that we are not a good credit risk, and will likely not continue to fund our deficit. This could force the government to monetize the debt, which would end in hyperinflation.

So, I post this information not to try and frighten people, but to try and get people's attention. Live within your means. Re-evaluate what is a necessity vs. what is a nice to have. Evaluate how many cars, and what type of cars you really need. Do you really need that new Plasma TV? My family lives quiet comfortably, but I will say that we do not have a maid, we do not have a yard man, we are not members of the health club, my wife gets her hair cut at supercuts, and she cuts my hair. We shop at walmart, and we buy clothes out of season when they are on sale. We do not do these things because we have to, we do them because we choose to. So, if I am writing about very tough times ahead, it is simply done in the hopes that some people will do things now to be better prepared. Prepare for the worst, and hope or the best.

OK, with that said, who do you think would be the best person from history to be called back to lead our country in these tough times. I would choose Teddy Roosevelt. I choose him because he had the courage to take on special interests. He took on corrupt politicians in his own party, and he took on corrupt power in the large trusts or mega-companies of the day. He was one of the first to recognize the importance of protecting our environment, and he believed the US should be strong in the world. That would be my choice . . . who would you pick?

24 comments:

  1. If I were to pick a historical person to lead our country, I'm going to go with Jesus. The Bible talks about him eventually ruling over all the earth (which I assume would mean the US if it's still around) and the current campaign promises don't even come close to what's promised by a Jesus administration.

    When Jesus rules, there will be perfect peace (no more war between nations), improved health (with few people dying as early as 100 and no more infant mortality), no national strife, perfect justice (no more wrong verdicts), even wild animals will be tame, no more crime, in fact it is to be so good that there will be no more crying or tears - pretty much a perfect environment.

    Not just this, but you'd get a leader who knows everything, is perfectly loving, and has the power to accomplish his will, but also someone who is self-sacrificing too.

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  2. Jesus Christ! He's the Prince of Peace.

    Thanks for not caving in to the 'head in the sand' crowd. That kind of thinking is what has led us to this point.

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  3. "Your opinion is different from mine, I'm unsubscribing from antique photographs! Because that's the logical response!"

    The young generation of liberals these days is filled with folks so open-minded, they don't give a damn what other people think. God I love irony.

    I for one, am now subscribing to your blog, because bravo for you for expressing your own opinions. It's a blog and that's what you're supposed to do anyway, but bravo for doing it in the face of adversity.

    Oh, and I'd choose FDR. Cuz he's pimp. And, well, it worked pretty well last time he ran the country.

    ZOMBIE FDR FOR PRESIDENT!

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  4. We should all be welcome to our opinion. Those who threaten to abandon your bLog might just as well. How mature is that? Would it not be much better they express their opinion when they disagree with a comment you make?

    As for Jesus, and living under a theocracy, He will not be in power because we voted in an election. But that is OK if it is meant to happen.

    Until then, I am not sure who might be the best mortal from the past to lead us. Every past president has had his critics.

    The Chicago Tribune jumped the gun and headlined Dewey as President. It had to quickly retract and indicate Truman. However, a reporter asked Dewey how he felt about realizing he had not actually won the presidency.

    Dewey said something like, "I felt like a man who wakes up and realizes he is in a coffin. He asks himself, 'if I am alive, what am I doing in this coffin? And if I am dead, hows come I have to go to the bathroom?' "

    Kudos to you for standing your ground and never being shy about expressing your opinion.

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  5. We haven't had and will never have the perfect president as Brother Dave pointed out so I cannot name one. However, I can suggest just who might get us back on track if he were still alive. That is none other than the toughest and meanest good guy I ever saw: USAF General Curtis LeMay. LeMay was the commander of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) in the early days of the command and the Cold War in the fifties.

    He chewed cigars and drove a silver Corvette to and from the Pentagon and to the White House when summoned. He was a true take-charge warrior who took no prisoners and hated ineffeciency and excuses anywhere in SAC or his other commands. This approach to business would make him an excellent President because what is needed today is someone with the presence and cahones to stand up to the Senate and the House and require them to start looking after the country and not themselves. He would also set up the system to watch them, too. Nothing illegal, but they would know someone was watching their decisions and checking to see if there were any unusual activity that would skirt the intentions of the Constitution......

    Boy, did I get wound up or what? Suffice it to say that old Curtis would get it straightened out or know what the next step is to do it.

    Thanks PJM!

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  6. That's a great question and one that I will pondering over all week...

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  7. If Eisenhower could do it, why not Patton?...Just a thought!hahaa...

    You couldn't get Rid of me! Great "learning" blog my friend!! Stand tall...don't give up the ship! Happy night!

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  8. The only thing LeMay would have given us is a nuclear war. Loose cannons make poor leaders.

    Your background and continued contact with National Security, gives you a unique perspective.
    You can't help looking at every situation in its worst case scenario.

    Sure, it's stupid to go through life all Pollyanna, but you're the opposite end of the spectrum.

    It’s pretty clear that hard times are coming. Unemployment will rise and people will suffer. Hell, we haven’t even starting paying for the Savings & Loan debacle, no less the wars, corporate welfare, and bailouts.

    Yeah it’ll be tough, but we’ll come back poorer and wiser… if we don’t turn on each other.
    The hope for our future is in the United People, of the United States.

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  9. You did not get at the heart of the problem which is education. We have to catch up. Until then, I think our standard of living will come down as well.

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  10. As long as education takes a back seat to sports we are throwing good money after bad.
    In a society that puts sports above all else what can we expect.
    A good coach gets paid better than a great math teacher.

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  11. Well, I'm not going to unsubscribe to your Blog , I like it too much. But I must say you have been going over the top with your predictions of doom and gloom. Bad things have always happened and always will. But the facts are we always have and always will continue to survive and go on with our lives.

    Fear really seems to motivate people in a negative way. I saw on the news the other day that gun sales are going through the roof since the elections because of an unfounded fear that Barack Obama is going to take away their guns. A gun store owner that was interviewed doesn’t believe the hype but does like the increase in sales.

    Once the seeds of doom and gloom are planted they grow rapidly. My ex-brother in law became convinced in the mid-seventies that there would be a severe food shortage in the next few years. He got this information from "experts" in the field. He purchased dozens of cases of K-type rations and canned goods that were being pushed for the upcoming famine. BTW he wasn't the only person buying into this widely promoted fear. Many "intelligent" people bought it. Well, the food supply was never cut off and my ex-brother in-law looked a little chubbier at Thanksgiving that year.

    The term "economics expert" is a joke. Put ten in the same room and you get ten very differing opinions. So, I wouldn't rely too much on what the "experts" are saying. I'm no expert but I feel sure were in this situation because of greed at every level. Sending jobs overseas to save labor cost has made some items cheaper but has hurt our economy. And at the same time the price for real estate became absurd. People were foolish to buy property at just stupid prices. Now so many are stuck with homes worth less than when they purchased them and a mortgage they can't afford.

    Am I not concerned about what devastation might happen next? You bet I am. I'm rapidly closing in on 60 and not yet financially ready to retire. But I have concerns my job might go away this coming year because of the sorry state of the economy. But if it does I'm getting up out of bed the next day and deal with the situation.

    There are many issues to worry about but you can't let them rule your life. You do seem to have an obsession of the next bad event. In my life I've seen a multitude of national and world crises. But I'm still here and loving every day of my life.

    No, I'm not going to quit your Blog; I really enjoy the photos you post. I'm just not going to read your commentaries. You really do need to lighten up.

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  12. Anon above . . . I think your comparison is unfair. I do not think PJM ever suggested hording food or buying guns. In fact in earlier commentaries I think he said that was silly. All I ever read him say is that we should reprioritize, spend less, and try and work in a job that is provided needed goods or services. I also have never heard him say he is fearful. Just presents a straight analysis of what he sees coming down pike.

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  13. Uh, you forgot about the food and fuel shortages leading to rioting at the malls.

    Oh, and nuclear incident, was it?

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  14. I don't mind your comments. I do think your predictions are not a certainty; there are too many global interconnections to figure it all out. I personally like Sherman for his faith which will help get the country on the right road.

    I did think the following Al Gore cut and paste from an opinion piece in the WSJ was worth adding:

    "Forty years ago, Robert F. Kennedy reminded Americans that the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Gross National Product measure neither our national spirit nor our national achievement. Both metrics fail to consider the integrity of our environment, the health of our families and the quality of our education. As he put it, "the Gross National Product measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile."'

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  15. Truth is, we rarely know greatness in a President until he is long out of office and dead. Lincoln for most of his term was not a symbol of popularity; Truman was viewed as "his accidency" and left office with approval ratings just a bit higher than our current Commander in Chief. Ike over the years has been re-evaluated to a higher level (he had previously been respected as a great General, but as a President referred to as "old bubble head") while JFK went from the top of the litter to the middle. We only can have one President at a time. We need to give Obama a shot as we elected him. He may prove to be a failure, a buffoon over his head, or he can come out of the office as a competent middle road president--or he may be one of the greats. We just will not know for a while. Bless You All!!

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  16. I hadn't read this post until today's commenting on it. Not to pile on, but I do want to take exception to your comment about the national debt. Folks tend to assume that a high national debt is bad. In some cases, it may be. But it's not always so, and spending into an economic downturn is exactly what the federal government should do. It's what Hoover failed to do, and what FDR got right.

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  17. Franklin D Roosevelt was the last great one that it took to help us out of the last great depression caused by Herbert Hoover and the Republican party. It will take another great leader I dont know if Barrack is it or not but to get us out of this other recession turning into a depression (Unemployment already at 7%)

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  18. As you can imagine, Bruce, I disagree with your statement about General LeMay. He literally had is finger on the trigger for years and never violated the trust. Also, he was a very capable leader who would have adapted his leadership style to match the job as he did in his other professions.

    My real point is that he was a proven, experienced leader with vast worldly experience and posessed the ability to lead in the political world of that time and today. Finally, he had unquestioned loyalty to this country and solid integrity. This is more than we can say about the new administration at this point.

    I wish Obama well on his monumental task of getting us all on the right track again, but a number of us will be watching to be sure the trust is warranted.

    Do not unsubcribe me,PJM. This is a really good blog that all but a few enjoy whether we agree with you or each other or not. You might want to hold on that Plasma for a while though.

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  19. FDR a Great President because he solved the Great Depression?
    You do realize that in all the other countries in the world it was only a normal depression. FDR is widely known as the one that made the Great Depression "Great" by his policies that made things 10x worse and 10x longer than every other country in the world.

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  20. Dearest Chad,

    In France it was called “The Great Depression“), and it lasted til into 1939.

    In Latin America it was “The World Wide Great Depression“, and it lasted into the '40s.

    In the Netherlands it was called “The Great Depression“, and the economy was off track until WWII.

    In Great Britain they still call it “The Great Depression“.

    And Canada it was called “The Dirty Thirties” or “The Great Depression“, and the Canadian economy didn't see growth until 1939.

    Facts are awesome, facts are cool; maybe you should stay in school.

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  21. I would have to go with Chief Washakie or Chief Joseph. I think us Whities have not gained a bit.. We will soon have to live off the land and learn to Grow and hunt and consume the whole of the animal, including tanning of the Hide, which I do know how to do, having done many.
    You are right on and thank you for it.. nanny

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  22. Several people on this blog need to brush up on their Bible reading. Jesus will not become involved in politics during his Second Coming.

    In Christ,
    Anonymous

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  23. I appreciate this post and your thoughts. More government support now = larger crash when it does happen because the problem is not the money, it's people's lack of self control, (which is only a symptom of deeper problems). If the government "saves us", spending will continue as-is because people won't be humbled by the failing structure they created. The debt will then just grow beyond saving and will lead to a harsher humbling and a much larger crash or takeover.

    If the government saves us, then it will own us.

    If the government were like Jesus, I'd let it save me and own me.. But it's not like Jesus, and being owned by a government does not bring peace, life, hope and freedom.

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  24. I enjoy your blog, and while I might not agree with everything, your insights into what used to be and how they relate to the present is very interesting. I agree that we should live within our means and think about what we are purchasing, much as our parents did. As for who I would like to see to lead our country...well, Lincoln comes to mind. A real republican who cared about how our county was going to live through the future

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