Unleash the Producers, Not the Parasites

In his wonderful book, The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley explores the ways in which trade and commerce have propelled innovation and well-being.  Ridley presents evidence that for the last 100,000 years, humans have engaged in trade and that the rise of complex civilizations can be tied to the exchange of ideas associated with trade.  So widespread and deep-seated is this instinct for exchange that, according to Ridley, it is evidence of a fundamental genetic propensity in Homo sapiens.  The human brain is hardwired to engage in all forms of exchange – commercial, social, and intellectual – and the result is an ever-improving quality of life.

Ridley is indeed an “optimist,” but he is realistic enough to know that government can strangle innovation by preying upon private enterprise.  Human history is full of examples of great civilizations brought low by the parasitic inclinations of powerful rulers – the kind of rulers who now govern our nation by executive order rather than by the rule of law.  Under the weight of these parasites, as Ridley shows, civilization stagnates or regresses to earlier stages of development.

A simple count of U.S. patent awards confirms that the Obama era has not been good for innovation and exchange.  The percentage of U.S.-based patent awards is now at an all-time low, having continued its decades-long decline during Obama’s presidency.  Instead of “saving the middle class,” as he often boasts of doing, Obama has overseen further erosion of national innovation and prestige.

As for prosperity, recent data for U.S. family income has been dismal.  Median household income has never recovered the high of the Bush years, when it reached $57,357 in 2007.  In 2015, according to the U.S. census, it was $52,250.  And for workers in the lowest quintile, the very ones Obama and Hillary Clinton claim to champion, it was $11,676 (2014 figure).  One fifth of American families are living on less than $12,000 per year.  That is the shameful truth of the Obama years.

Yet in February, Hillary Clinton told voters that Obama hasn’t received “the credit he deserves.”  She has repeatedly stated that she intends to defend “Obama’s legacy,” but that is a legacy of poverty for most American workers.  The reason Obama has such an abominable record is that he has smothered innovation and investment under the weight of increased taxes and regulation.  And the intent and effect of new taxes and regulation are to transfer wealth and power to Washington.

Ridley’s book helps us understand that the Obama stranglehold on business is nothing new.  For as long as innovation and exchange have existed, there have been kings, dictators, and democratic socialists eager to cash in.  In practically every great society, “governments gradually employ more and more ambitious elites who capture a greater and greater share of society’s income by interfering more and more in people’s lives as they give themselves more and more rules to enforce” (Ridley, p. 182).  Ultimately, the productive society stagnates and dies out, and innovation and commerce move elsewhere.

This is precisely the tipping point at which America now stands.  The evidence of business moving elsewhere is not hard to find.  Despite frantic attempts on the part of the Obama administration to prevent them, tax inversions are taking place with greater frequency and on a larger scale than before.  Treasury’s new rules designed to block inversions will not be successful.  By making corporate inversions less desirable, they will only spur foreign buy-outs of American businesses by foreign firms.

Not only are new rules unsuccessful in preventing corporate inversions, but they impose a huge burden on businesses of all sizes.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the latest Treasury Department ban on “earnings stripping” “mainly punishes companies that aren’t leaving the country.”  And by weakening businesses, Treasury’s new regulations further reduce wages for American workers.

What’s revealing is Secretary Lew’s rationale for blocking tax inversions.  Lew has said nothing, so far as I know, about advancing productivity or promoting innovation.  What seems to worry the administration is loss of federal revenue.  The parasites in Washington truly believe that every dime produced by private enterprise belongs to government, to do with as it wills.  What really upsets them is the possibility that some portion of that money might escape their control.

The parasites are so numerous that a full list would include practically every prominent figure on the left working in government, media, and academe.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was the brainchild of Elizabeth Warren, the progressive activist near the top of Hillary Clinton’s V.P. list.  Even in its brief history, the CFPB has succeeded in imposing thousands of costly new regulations, including new rules that would provide consumers (and their lawyers) new avenues for suing banks and credit card companies by restricting arbitration clauses in financial contracts.  In 2015 alone, the CFPB doubled the number of prosecutions of businesses.  According to Tony Alexis, the CFPB’s director of enforcement, the agency plans to be “particularly active” in 2016.  Is there a better example of government parasites run amuck?

Well, yes, there is.  Eric Schneiderman’s attempted shakedown of ExxonMobil may be the best example yet of the tendency of those in authority to parasitize the productive labor of others.  The New York attorney general, joined by A.G.s from Massachusetts, California, and the Virgin Islands, is seeking reams of documents (stretching back as far as 40 years) relating to Exxon’s stance on global warming.  Exxon has pushed back on these demands, filing its own charges against Virgin Islands A.G. Claude Walker.  Apparently, these state A.G.s hope to catch the oil giant in an inadvertent misrepresentation and proceed to a lucrative settlement – while opening up the company for class action lawsuits on the part of “wronged” investors and other groups.  It’s the same playbook that has fettered American banks, auto companies, pharmaceutical companies, and countless others ever since Obama took office.  Investigate without real proof, sue, settle, and transfer assets from investors to Washington.

In the face of such attacks, it is no wonder that the economy has stagnated throughout Obama’s term.  Companies are now crushed with hundreds of thousands of rules, and they are deterred from new investments by the fear of lawsuits.  Under the weight of this government interference, as well as the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world, there are only three rational options for corporate leaders.  (1) Accept de facto nationalization and the restrictions that come with it; (2) defer investment and hiring, and return profits to investors by way of dividends and share buybacks; or (3) relocate to a less onerous environment via a corporate inversion or outright buyout by a foreign company.  For businesses that wish to expand, the third option is the obvious choice.

If we are not to suffer the fate of past civilizations, we must expel the parasites who now control our economy and who will continue controlling it if Hillary Clinton is elected.  The Washington elite are terrified by Donald Trump because he is serious about making America great again – and he knows that the only way to do so is the kick the parasites out.  Trump’s announced policies on taxes and regulation make perfect sense.  They would free up American businesses to compete on a level playing field.  They appeal to one of the most basic human instincts: the desire to produce more and retain the proceeds.

For eight years, the Obama administration has undermined our nation’s competitive instincts.  It’s time to unleash them by putting producers first – and putting parasites in their place.
h/t  Jeffrey Folks


Today in History – June 26

1096 – Peter the Hermit’s crusaders forced their way across Sava, Hungary.

1243 – The Seljuk Turkish army in Asia Minor was wiped out by the Mongols.

1483 – Richard III usurped himself to the English throne.

1794 – The French defeated an Austrian army at the Battle of Fleurus.

1804 – The Lewis and Clark Expedition reached the mouth of the Kansas River after completing a westward trek of nearly 400 river miles.

1819 – The bicycle was patented by W.K. Clarkson, Jr.

1844 – John Tyler took Julia Gardiner as his bride, thus becoming the first U.S. President to marry while in office.

1870 – The first section of the boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ, was opened to the public.

1894 – The American Railway Union called a general strike in sympathy with Pullman workers.

1900 – The United States announced that it would send troops to fight against the Boxer rebellion in China.

1900 – A commission that included Dr. Walter Reed began the fight against the deadly disease yellow fever.

1907 – Russia’s nobility demanded drastic measures to be taken against revolutionaries.

1908 – Shah Muhammad Ali’s forces squelched the reform elements of Parliament in Persia.

1917 – General John “Black Jack” Pershing arrived in France with the American Expeditionary Force.

1925 – Charlie Chaplin’s comedy “The Gold Rush” premiered in Hollywood.

1926 – A memorial to the first U.S. troops in France was unveiled at St. Nazaire.

1924 – After eight years of occupation, American troops left the Dominican Republic.

1927 – The Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster opened in New York.

1936 – The Focke-Wulf Fw 61 made its first flight. It is often considered the first practical helicopter.

1942 – The Grumman F6F Hellcat fighter was flown for the first time.

1945 – The U.N. Charter was signed by 50 nations in San Francisco, CA.

1948 – The Berlin Airlift began as the U.S., Britain and France started ferrying supplies to the isolated western sector of Berlin.

1951 – The Soviet Union proposed a cease-fire in the Korean War.

1959 – CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow interviewed Lee Remick. It was his 500th and final guest on “Person to Person.”

1959 – U.S. President Eisenhower joined Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in ceremonies officially opening the St. Lawrence Seaway.

1961 – A Kuwaiti vote opposed Iraq’s annexation plans.

1963 – U.S. President John Kennedy announced “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner) at the Berlin Wall.

1971 – The U.S. Justice Department issued a warrant for Daniel Ellsberg, accusing him of giving away the Pentagon Papers.

1974 – In Troy, Ohio, a Marsh supermarket installed the first bar code scanning equipment, made by IBM, and a product with a bar code was scanned for the first time. The product was Juicy Fruit gum.

1975 – Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency due to “deep and widespread conspiracy.”

1976 – In Toronto, Canada, the CN Tower opened to the public. The official opening date is listed as October 1, 1976. It was the world’s tallest free-standing stucture and the world’s tallest tower until 2010.

1979 – Muhammad Ali, at 37 years old, announced that he was retiring as world heavyweight boxing champion.

1985 – Wilbur Snapp was ejected after playing “Three Blind Mice” during a baseball game. The incident followed a call made by umpire Keith O’Connor.

1987 – The movie “Dragnet” opened in the U.S.

1996 – The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the Virginia Military Institute to admit women or forgo state support.

1997 – The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Communications Decency Act of 1996 that made it illegal to distribute indecent material on the Internet.

1997 – J.K. Rowlings book “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was published in the U.K. The book was later released in the U.S. under the name “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” This was the first book in the Harry Potter series.

1997 – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld state laws that allow for a ban on doctor-assisted suicides.

1998 – The U.S. and Peru open school to train commandos to patrol Peru’s rivers for drug traffickers.

1998 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers are always potentially liable for supervisor’s sexual misconduct toward an employee.

2000 – The Human Genome Project and Celera Genomics Corp. jointly announced that they had created a working draft of the human genome.

2000 – Indonesia’s President Abdurrahman Wahid declared a state of emergency in the Moluccas due to the escalation of fighting between Christians and Muslims.

2001 – Ray Bourque (Colorado Avalanche) announced his retirement just 17 days after winning his first Stanley Cup. Bouque retired after 22 years and held the NHL record for highest-scoring defenseman and playing in 19 consecutive All-Star games.

2002 – David Hasseloff checked into The Betty Ford Center for treatment of alcoholism.

2002 – WorldCom Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.


Today in History – June 19

0240 BC – Eratosthenes estimated the circumference of the Earth using two sticks….okay, he wins the Overachiever Award!

1586 – English colonists sailed away from Roanoke Island, NC, after failing to establish England’s first permanent settlement in America.

1778 – U.S. General George Washington’s troops finally left Valley Forge after a winter of training.

1821 – The Ottomans defeated the Greeks at the Battle of Dragasani.

1846 – The New York Knickerbocker Club played the New York Club in the first baseball game at the Elysian Field, Hoboken, NJ. It was the first organized baseball game.

1862 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln outlined his Emancipation Proclamation, which outlawed slavery in U.S. territories.

1864 – The USS Kearsarge sank the CSS Alabama off of Cherbourg, France.

1865 – The emancipation of slaves was proclaimed in Texas.

1867 – In New York, the Belmont Stakes was run for the first time.

1873 – Eadweard Muybridge successfully photographed a horse named “Sallie Gardner” in fast motion using a series of 24 stereoscopic cameras. This is considered the first step toward motion pictures.

1903 – The young school teacher, Benito Mussolini, was placed under investigation by police in Bern, Switzerland.

1910 – The first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington.

1911 – In Pennsylvania, the first motion-picture censorship board was established.

1912 – The U.S. government established the 8-hour work day.

1917 – During World War I, King George V ordered the British royal family to dispense with German titles and surnames.

1933 – France granted Leon Trotsky political asylum.

1934 – The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration was established.

1934 – The U.S. Congress established the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The commission was to regulate radio and TV broadcasting (later).

1937 – The town of Bilbao, Spain, fell to the Nationalist forces.

1939 – In Atlanta, GA, legislation was enacted that disallowed pinball machines in the city.

1942 – Norma Jeane Mortenson (Marilyn Monroe) and her 21-year-old neighbor Jimmy Dougherty were married. They were divorced in June of 1946.

1942 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Washington, DC, to discuss the invasion of North Africa with U.S. President Roosevelt.

1943 – Henry Kissinger became a naturalized United States citizen.

1943 – The National Football League approved the merger of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

1944 – The U.S. won the battle of the Philippine Sea against the Imperial Japanese fleet.

1951 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed the Universal Military Training and Service Act, which extended Selective Service until July 1, 1955 and lowered the draft age to 18.

1952 – “I’ve Got a Secret” debuted on CBS-TV.

1958 – In Washington, DC, nine entertainers refused to answer a congressional committee’s questions on communism.

1961 – Kuwait regained complete independence from Britain.

1961 – The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision in Maryland’s constitution that required state officeholders to profess a belief in God.

1964 – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved after surviving an 83-day filibuster in the U.S. Senate.

1965 – Air Marshall Nguyen Cao Ky became South Vietnam’s youngest premier at age 34.

1968 – 50,000 people marched on Washington, DC. to support the Poor People’s Campaign.

1973 – The Case-Church Amendment prevented further U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia.

1973 – Pete Rose (Cincinnati Reds) got his 2,000th career hit.

1973 – The stage production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” opened in London.

1973 – Gordie Howe left the NHL to join his sons Mark and Marty in the WHA (World Hockey League).

1978 – Garfield was in newspapers around the U.S. for the first time.

1981 – “Superman II” set the all-time, one-day record for theater box-office receipts when it took in $5.5 million.

1981 – The European Space Agency sent two satellites into orbit from Kourou, French Guiana.

1983 – Lixian-nian was chosen to be China’s first president since 1969.

1987 – The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Louisiana law that required that schools teach creationism.

1989 – The movie “Batman” premiered.

1997 – William Hague became the youngest leader of Britain’s Conservative party in nearly 200 years.

1998 – Gateway was fined more than $400,000 for illegally shipping personal computers to 16 countries subject to U.S. export controls.

1998 – A study released said that smoking more than doubles risks of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s.

1998 – Switzerland’s three largest banks offered $600 million to settle claims they’d stolen the assets of Holocaust victims during World War II. Jewish leaders called the offer insultingly low.

1999 – Stephen King was struck from behind by a mini-van while walking along a road in Maine.

1999 – The Dallas Stars won their first NHL Stanley Cup by defeating the Buffalo Sabres in the third overtime of game six.

2000 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a group prayer led by students at public-school football games violated the 1st Amendment’s principle that called for the separation of church and state.


“The goal of socialism is communism”-Vladimir Lenin

1“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” announced President Ronald Reagan at the Berlin Wall, JUNE 12, 1987.

Begun after Lenin’s Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, the Soviet Union existed from 1922 to 1991.

2With its motto ‘Workers of the World, Unite!’ the Soviet tactic of conquest was to train agitators and organizers – “agent provocateurs” – to stir up riots so that the public would accept a military enforced marshal law to restore order.

Franklin Roosevelt addressed Delegates of the American Youth Congress, February 10, 1940:

“Some of you are Communists… You have no American right, by act or deed of any kind, to subvert the Government and the Constitution of this Nation.”

Instead of setting up a utopian paradise, the workers were simply used as “useful idiots” to set up a communist dictatorship which gained totalitarian control over some 293 million people across 11 time zones.

3Addressing naive students that thought communism would redistribute wealth equally, President Franklin Roosevelt told the American Youth Congress, February 10, 1940:

“The Soviet Union…is run by a dictatorship as absolute as any other dictatorship in the world.”

Under the Soviet dictatorship:

-privacy was nonexistent;
-press was censored;
-free speech disappeared;
-healthcare was rationed;
-economy was regulated;
-private industry was collectivized;
-political dissent was punished;
-media and entertainment was propagandized;
-children’s education became indoctrination;
-marriage and families were subject to social engineering;
-religion was suppressed; and
-human life was valued only by its usefulness to the soviet society.

Franklin Roosevelt stated, February 10, 1940:

“I disliked the regimentation under Communism. I abhorred the indiscriminate killings of thousands of innocent victims…

…I heartily deprecated the banishment of religion,

though I knew that some day Russia would return to religion for the simple reason that four or five thousand years of recorded history have proven that mankind has always believed in God in spite of many abortive attempts to exile God…”

President Harry S Truman stated January 20, 1949:

“Communism is based on the belief that man is so weak and inadequate that he is unable to govern himself, and therefore requires the rule of strong masters.

Democracy is based on the conviction that man has the moral and intellectual capacity, as well as the inalienable right, to govern himself with reason and justice…”

Truman continued:

“Communism subjects the individual to arrest without lawful cause, punishment without trial, and forced labor as a chattel of the state.

It decrees what information he shall receive, what art he shall produce, what leaders he shall follow, and what thoughts he shall think.

Democracy maintains that government is established for the benefit of the individual, and is charged with the responsibility of protecting the rights of the individual and his freedom…

…These differences between Communism and Democracy do not concern the United States alone.

People everywhere are coming to realize that what is involved is material well-being, human dignity, and the right to believe in and worship God.”

President Ronald Reagan began his address at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, JUNE 12, 1987:

“Twenty-four years ago, President John F. Kennedy visited Berlin, speaking to the people of this city and the world…

Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe.

From the Baltic, south, those barriers cut across Germany in a gash…

…There remain armed guards and checkpoints all the same – still a restriction on the right to travel, still an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state…”

Reagan continued:

“Just as truth can flourish only when the journalist is given freedom of speech, so prosperity can come about only when the farmer and businessman enjoy economic freedom…

There stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity…

…General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization:

Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Reagan added:

“Perhaps this gets to the root of the matter, to the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West.

The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship.

The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront…”

Reagan concluded:

“Years ago…the East Germans… erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz.

Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower’s one major flaw, treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind.

Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere – that sphere that towers over all Berlin – the light makes the sign of the cross.

There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed.”

Ronald Reagan’s Vice-President was George H.W. Bush, born JUNE 12, 1924.

Early in his career, George H.W. Bush served as the head of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing. Bush told Amish and Mennonite leaders in Lancaster, PA, March 22, 1989:

“Barbara and I went to China as your emissary…in 1974, and we had wondered about the family in China – Communist country, totalitarian…

We knew that there had been almost entire banning on practicing and teaching Christianity… This was right after the Cultural Revolution.”

Though as President, George H.W. Bush advocated an internationalist foreign policy, as indicated in his cryptic “dream of a new world order” speech, September 11, 1990, he nevertheless acknowledged role of religion in America’s founding.

President George H.W. Bush stated in his Inaugural Address, January 20, 1989:

“I have just repeated word for word the oath taken by George Washington 200 years ago, and the Bible on which I place my hand is the Bible on which he placed his…

And my first act as President is a prayer. I ask you to bow your heads…”

On February 22, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed Joint Resolution 164 declaring 1990 the International Year of Bible Reading:

“Among the great books produced throughout the history of mankind, the Bible has been prized above all others…

The Bible has had a critical impact upon the development of Western civilization…

…It was a biblical view of man – one affirming the dignity and worth of the human person, made in the image of our Creator – that inspired the principles upon which the United States is founded…

The historic speeches of Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., provide compelling evidence of the role Scripture played in shaping the struggle against slavery and discrimination…

We recall the words of the prophet Isaiah, who declared, ‘The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand forever.’…

When you have read the Bible you will know that it is the Word of God…

…NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the year 1990 as the International Year of Bible Reading.

I invite all Americans to discover the great inspiration and knowledge that can be obtained through thoughtful reading of the Bible.”

On May 3, 1990, President George H.W. Bush declared a National Day of Prayer:

“The great faith that led our Nation’s Founding Fathers to pursue this bold experience in self-government has sustained us in uncertain and perilous times…

Like them, we do very well to recall our ‘firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence,’…and to pray for continued help and guidance from our wise and loving Creator.”

In his 1992 National Day of Prayer Proclamation, President George H.W. Bush stated:

“Whatever our individual religious convictions may be, each of us is invited to join in this National Day of Prayer…

Each of us can echo this timeless prayer of Solomon, the ancient king who prayed for, and received, the gift of wisdom:

‘The Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers; may He not leave us or forsake us; so that He may incline our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways…that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.'”

President George H.W. Bush stated in his Christmas Message, December 8, 1992:

“As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, whose life offers us a model of dignity, compassion, and justice, we renew our commitment to peace…

Christ made clear the redemptive value of giving of oneself for others…

The heroic actions of our veterans, the lifesaving work of our scientists and physicians, and generosity of countless individuals who voluntarily give of their time, talents, and energy to help others – all have enriched humankind and affirmed the importance of our Judeo-Christian heritage in shaping our government and values.”

h/t William J Federer


Today in History – June 12

1099 – Crusade leaders visited the Mount of Olives where they met a hermit who urged them to assault Jerusalem.

1442 – Alfonso V of Aragon was crowned King of Naples.

1665 – England installed a municipal government in New York. It was the former Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam.

1812 – Napoleon’s invasion of Russia began.

1838 – The Iowa Territory was organized.

1839 – Abner Doubleday created the game of baseball, according to the legend.

1849 – Lewis Haslett patented a gas mask. (Patent US6529 A)

1897 – Carl Elsener patented his penknife. The object later became known as the Swiss army knife.

1898 – Philippine nationalists declared their independence from Spain.

1900 – The Reichstag approved a second law that would allow the expansion of the German navy.

1901 – Cuba agreed to become an American protectorate by accepting the Platt Amendment.

1912 – Lillian Russel retired from the stage and was married for the fourth time.

1918 – The first airplane bombing raid by an American unit occurred on World War I’s Western Front in France.

1921 – U.S. President Warren Harding urged every young man to attend military training camp.

1923 – Harry Houdini, while suspended upside down 40 feet above the ground, escaped from a strait jacket.

1926 – Brazil quit the League of Nations in protest over plans to admit Germany.

1935 – U.S. Senator Huey Long of Louisiana made the longest speech on Senate record. The speech took 15 1/2 hours and was filled by 150,000 words.

1935 – The Chaco War was ended with a truce. Bolivia and Paraguay had been fighting since 1932.

1937 – The Soviet Union executed eight army leaders under Joseph Stalin.

1939 – The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was dedicated in Cooperstown, New York.

1941 – In London, the Inter-Allied Declaration was signed. It was the first step towards the establishment of the United Nations.

1944 – Chinese Communist leader Mao Tse-tung announced that he would support Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek in the war against Japan.

1948 – Ben Hogan won his first U.S. Open golf classic.

1963 – “Cleopatra” starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rex Harrison, and Richard Burton premiered at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City.

1963 – Civil rights leader Medgar Evers was fatally shot in front of his home in Jackson, MS.

1967 – State laws which prohibited interracial marriages were ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

1971 – Tricia Nixon and Edward F. Cox were married in the White House Rose Garden.

1975 – Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was found guilty of corrupt election practices in 1971.

1979 – Bryan Allen flew the Gossamer Albatross, man powered, across the English Channel.

1981 – Major league baseball players began a 49 day strike. The issue was free-agent compensation.

1981 – “Raiders of the Lost Ark” opened in the U.S.

1982 – 75,000 people rallied against nuclear weapons in New York City’s Central Park. Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, and Linda Ronstadt were in attendance.

1985 – Wayne “The Great One” Gretsky was named winner of the NHL’s Hart Trophy. The award is given to the the league Most Valuable Player.

1985 – The U.S. House of Representatives approved $27 million in aid to the Nicaraguan contras.

1986 – South Africa declared a national state of emergency. Virtually unlimited power was given to security forces and restrictions were put on news coverage of the unrest.

1987 – U.S. President Reagan publicly challenged Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.

1990 – The parliament of the Russian Federation formally declared its sovereignty.

1991 – Russians went to the election polls and elected Boris N. Yeltsin as the president of their republic.

1991 – The Chicago Bulls won their first NBA championship. The Bulls beat the Los Angeles Lakers four games to one.

1992 – In a letter to the U.S. Senate, Russian Boris Yeltsin stated that in the early 1950’s the Soviet Union had shot down nine U.S. planes and held 12 American survivors.

1996 – In Philadelphia a panel of federal judges blocked a law against indecency on the internet. The panel said that the 1996 Communications Decency Act would infringe upon the free speech rights of adults.

1997 – Interleague play began in baseball, ending a 126-year tradition of separating the major leagues until the World Series.

1997 – The U.S. Treasury Department unveiled a new $50 bill meant to be more counterfeit-resistant.

1998 – Compaq Computer paid $9 billion for Digital Equipment Corp. in largest high-tech acquisition.

1999 – NATO peacekeeping forces entered the province of Kosovo in Yugoslavia.

2003 – In Arkansas, Terry Wallis spoke for the first time in nearly 19 years. Wallis had been in a coma since July 13, 1984, after being injured in a car accident.

2009 – In the U.S., The switch from analog TV trasmission to digital was completed.


Today in History – June 9

1064 – Coimbra, Portugal fell to Ferdinand, the King of Castile.

1534 – Jacques Cartier became the first to sail into the river he named Saint Lawrence.

1790 – John Barry copyrighted “Philadelphia Spelling Book.” It was the first American book to be copyrighted.

1790 – Civil war broke out in Martinique.

1860 – The Ms. Ann Stevens book “Malaeska, the Indian Wife of the White Hunter” was offered for sale for a dime. It was the first published “dime novel.”

1861 – Mary Ann “Mother” Bickerdyke began working in Union hospitals.

1923 – Bulgaria’s government was overthrown by the military.

1931 – Robert H. Goddard patented a rocket-fueled aircraft design.

1934 – Donald Duck made his debut in the Silly Symphonies cartoon “The Wise Little Hen.”

1940 – Norway surrendered to the Nazis during World War II.

1943 – The withholding tax on payrolls was authorized by the U.S. Congress.

1945 – Japanese Premier Kantaro Suzuki declared that Japan would fight to the last rather than accept unconditional surrender.

1946 – Mel Ott (with the New York Giants) became the first manager to be ejected from a doubleheader (both games).

1959 – The first ballistic missile carrying submarine, the USS George Washington, was launched.

1965 – Michel Jazy ran the mile in 3 minutes, 53.6 seconds. He broke the record set by Peter Snell in 1964.

1978 – Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints struck down a 148-year-old policy of excluding black men from the Mormon priesthood.

1980 – Richard Pryor was severely burned by a “free-base” mixture that exploded. He was hospitalized more than two months.

1985 – Thomas Sutherland, an American educator, was kidnapped in Lebanon. He was not released until November 1991.

1986 – The Rogers Commission released a report on the Challenger disaster. The report explained that the spacecraft blew up as a result of a failure in a solid rocket booster joint.

1999 – NATO and Yugoslavia signed a peace agreement over Kosovo.

2000 – Canada and the United States signed a border security agreement. The agreement called for the establishment of a border-enforcement team.

2000 – The U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal gift and estate taxes. The bill called for the taxes to be phased out over 10 years.

2001 – Patrick Roy (Colorado Avalanche) became the first National Hockey League (NHL) player to win three Conn Smythe Trophies. The award is given to the playoff’s Most Valuable Player.

2011 – The world’s first artificial organ transplant was performed. It was an artificial windpipe coated with stem cells.


Will it be Trump vs Hillary for POTUS? And is Present Day Politics Really the Nastiest It’s Ever Been?

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Well, the creation of social media has certainly fueled the fire of nastiness, not too mention the rise (and fall) of our triggered SJW’s (social justice wusses…..err, warriors).

“So I guess the biggest takeaway is, yes, this election cycle is bizarre. But it’s no more bizarre than the election in 1800…”

“… wherein Jefferson accused Adams of being a hermaphrodite and Adams responded by [spreading rumors] that Jefferson died, so Adams would be the only viable candidate. He was counting on news to travel slow! That, weirdly, gives me hope.”

Said Lin-Manuel Miranda (creator of the very popular musical “Hamilton”) in his Rolling Stone interview, which is also prominently quoted in Maureen Dowd’s new column, “John Adams Was a Hermaphrodite?”

Dowd’s column is mostly about Hillary’s unlikability and Trump’s wily fighting style. I’ll just quote this, because it made me laugh (and it’s arguably genitalia-related):

Trump speculated at his rally that Hillary might share sensitive information with her aide Huma Abedin who might share it with her husband, saying: “I know Anthony Weiner. I don’t want him knowing anything. And I never, ever want him to tweet me.”

So, of course, Weiner tweated [sic] immediately and incoherently: “Wait, is he talking to me. I’ll hit that guy with so many rights, he’ll be begging for a left.”Anyway… did Jefferson say Adams was a hermaphrodite? I found this:
Jefferson’s camp accused President Adams of having a “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”

In return, Adams’ men called Vice President Jefferson “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.”