Don’t miss Ben’s favorite poem “about working and love and Wagner and Cadillacs.”
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One, you can still find stocks that will do very well even when unemployment is high. In fact, the whole index can do fine when unemployment is high. We know that, because it’s happened. It’s happening right now.
The second thing I thought of in my haze of pain is that you can still earn 3, 4, or 5 percent on your savings by using them to pay off your mortgages. You earn every dollar less of mortgage interest you pay just as if you had it in the bank. So, there. (I am doing ads for a company that helps you do that. Paid ads.)
I felt pretty good about thinking of that.
I slept while listening to Mozart, swam, and then headed off to Pavilions to shop for groceries. The whole immense cathedral to American plenty was deserted. Just empty. Just like a warehouse. I looked for Le Sueur canned peas. Baby little peas. TWO FIFTY A CAN!
Can you even believe that the government says there is no inflation? Earth to the Bureau of Labor Statistics…have you tried shopping at a grocery store lately? Or is this just a one percenter’s evil grocery store? No, it’s a great grocery store, so now, let’s add “stagflation” to our problems.
But here’s the good part. If the government cannot solve our problems, we can solve them ourselves. The government has used all of its “mojo,” all of its “magic.” Now, the “magic” has to be our own hard work and frugality and imagination. But we have plenty of magic, so let’s rock and roll. As a government, we’re tapped out. As a nation of 308 million energetic people, we can do anything. Even with 100 million energetic, creative people, we can do anything. Look at tiny Israel, with only 7 million people, and a super industrial powerhouse—and that’s with a lot of them just “dovenning” all day. We can do it. If Israel can do it, we can do it.
I AWAKENED and for some reason, my sister—I have the best sister on the planet—had sent me a poem about working and love and Wagner and Cadillacs. It made me truly sob, partly because my grandfather had worked at Ford Motor in Highland Park in the '20s and partly because I am not sure you can truly know what love is until you know what work is. As I read it, I realized that I have to write a book about what life was like with RN, back in 1973-74 in the Watergate days. The main reason I have to write it is because we all worked like demons and we all loved each other like brothers and sisters.
That was the best job I ever had. We were committed. I am still extremely close with the man who worked next to me, John R. Coyne, Jr., and the man who worked next to us, Aram Bakshian, but also with Ken Khachigian and Dave Gergen. I wish I saw more of Pat Buchanan and Ann Morgan and Ray Price. I am still close to Julie and David Eisenhower and I can never describe how much I admire them.
I pity the poor haters in the media and the left who will never know the feeling we hard-working brothers had at the White House back in those days, when we struggled to keep in place The Peacemaker, Richard M. Nixon.
(My delightful niece, Emily, said there were so many tears in the Stein family when Nixon was in trouble that she assumed RN was my father’s brother—and she was right.)
“What Work Is” by Philip Levine
We stand in the rain in a long line
waiting at Ford Highland Park. For work.
You know what work is—if you’re
old enough to read this you know what
work is, although you may not do it.
Forget you. This is about waiting,
shifting from one foot to another.
Feeling the light rain falling like mist
into your hair, blurring your vision
until you think you see your own brother,
and of course it’s someone else’s brother,
narrower across the shoulders than
yours but with the same sad slouch, the grin
that does not hide the stubbornness,
the sad refusal to give in to
rain, to the hours wasted waiting,
to the knowledge that somewhere ahead
a man is waiting who will say, “No,
we’re not hiring today,” for any
reason he wants. You love your brother,
now suddenly you can hardly stand
the love flooding you for your brother,
who’s not beside you or behind or
ahead because he’s home trying to
sleep off a miserable night shift
at Cadillac so he can get up
before noon to study his German.
Works eight hours a night so he can sing
Wagner, the opera you hate most,
the worst music ever invented.
How long has it been since you told him
you loved him, held his wide shoulders,
opened your eyes wide and said those words,
and maybe kissed his cheek? You’ve never
done something so simple, so obvious,
not because you’re too young or too dumb,
not because you’re jealous or even mean
or incapable of crying in
the presence of another man, no,
just because you don’t know what work is.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?