Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More Q&A

Sam, a former airman during the 1950’s stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi writes:

Q: Mister Charlie—as we airmen once addressed your father (if my memory still serves me at age 70), you continually allude to your Southern heritage, and indeed, my 2-year posting to Keesler AFB was an eye-opener when it comes to race relations. Do you plan to write about it? Your dad’s car deals were always fair, credit was easy, and as the local “AA” honcho, he bailed out many of my fellow airmen in the dead of night. Please confirm.

A. Yes Sam, the original “Mister Charlie” was indeed my dad, the “AA” go-to guy, who squared all accounts prior to his premature death in 1960, at age 52, including re-marriage to my mother when I was a junior at M.I.T. In fact, I probably sold a few cars to your Keesler buddies during my summer vacations. By the way, he not only bailed out Keesler guys in the dead of night, but also his own car lot boys. His late life commitment encompassed Negroes, but as a child, I was never permitted to call them “black”, on pain of mouth-washing soap. They were tagged "colored"; "mulato"; "quadroon"; "octoon"; and "high yella," depending on visible white/African blood content. "Black" meant "bad" in my day, and these folks were anything but "bad" in my childhood experience. but that's just me.

His secret was simple—he bribed the highway patrolmen, local cops, and judges in Biloxi and Gulfport with free “loaners” for their family vacations and holiday weekends, fuel tanks topped off with 19-cent/gallon Hi-Test.

When I complete my fables trilogy with CIA Fables later this year, I will begin writing about my Freudian, Deep South/Yankee heritage, so stay tuned for my first short story - Driving Miss Jennie!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More Q&A

Francis Milliard of St. Paul, Minnesota writes:

Q: Are you really a Republican or just what we call a wannabe? I can think of a dozen folks that would be better choices than Newt or Palin for the Presidency in 2012 right off the top of my head, including Mitt Romney, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, David Petraeus, Duncan Hunter, Jon A. Greenspan, Eric Cantor, Tim Pawlenty, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Michael Steele, J.C. Watts—even people like Jeb Bush, Condoleezza Rice and Mark Sanford make more sense than your selections. Are you really a member of the Republican Party, the proudest of all political parties in the history of this country? If so, maybe it’s about time you showed up and got in the game.

Frank, I have always been a registered independent Constitutional conservative; my son is the registered Republican. As I state clearly in An American Fable, I have always disdained politics and politicians for mediocrity and phoniness, but with notable exceptions for gutsy visionaries like Ronnie, Harry and FDR. (during my lifetime).

I have also stated clearly in my blog answers that neither Sarah nor Newt will be the next presidential candidate, although I see Sarah as a valuable future cabinet minister, and with a great catalyst like Newt, an effective team for the 2010 bye-election battle. Without a newly balanced Congress, 2012 will be out-of-reach, so it doesn’t make much difference whether it’s Mitt, Mike, David or Jeb—the whole ballgame is next year, and the clock is ticking. And without concrete revolutionary financial and social solutions emerging from serious debate on tax simplification; a greatly expanded middle class; T-bond funding of pension benefits; local administration of “house call”-style medical care—just to name a few—you are all jus’ whistlin’ Dixie.

Monday, July 20, 2009

More Q & A

Brent from Sonoma writes:

Q: What right do you have to say that gay people cannot be married and get the same benefits heterosexual couples receive from our so-called “Land of the Free?”

How dare you position yourself as a patriot, when in reality you’re a bigot who wants to play God and say we can’t legally get married?

What would you do if one of your children or grandchildren was gay? Would you deny them their rights then?

A: Brent, I was wondering when the guys and gals like you would come to life, so here’s the deal in a nutshell.

First, my “right”, like yours, is Constitutional, and I’m backed up by the great majority of Californians and Americans, if not San Franciscans in "Sodom By the Bay".

Next, our “Land of the Free” laws preclude same sex marriage.

Next, your “benefits” are the same as mine under my proposed “10% of everything/replacement of everything” 2-page tax code—no special tax advantage for heterosexual couples. Fair?

Next, what you and your mate do in private is none of my business, but you can’t get legally married. Unfair? If so, exactly why do you need to get married? For what purpose?

Next, I don’t have to “position” myself as a patriot—I am a patriot—in the true Jeffersonian mold, although my “peaceful revolution” calls for no bloodshed to accomplish the embedded truism our forefathers envisioned in 1787—one nation under God—not Mohammed; not Confucius; not Buddha—but Jesus Christ, His Son.

If you don’t like a Christian-dominated national ethos, you’re in the wrong country, because the great majority of your countrymen are European Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, or Jewish, and we all share “Old Testament”, and most of us “New Testament”, commandments which comprise our law of the land today. As my boyhood nannies Julia and Lucy Mae would say if they were still alive, homosexual marriage “ain’t fittin’, it just ain’t fittin.’”

Next, what would I do if any of my kids, grandkids, or great grandkids on the way was gay? Nothing, absolutely nothing, because amended laws (except for same sex marriage) would deny them no other “right”. They would select their companion as I did; buy a home as I did; prepare a will as I did; and would be no less loved and supported by me or their family. But they would never be permitted to marry or raise a family. Paziensa, I would say to myself, it’s God’s will, and as a somewhat errant Catholic I make it a practice to never argue with God, because my gay progenitor could become another Michelangelo Buonarotti.

Like Moses and the Hebrews of yore, we are today God’s “chosen people”, and like them, we have been endowed with the serious moral comportment that accompanies this Divine gift. Why us? Why not? If we Americans, comprising most of the planet’s cultures in a grand melting pot of humanity, cannot devise an idiot-proof peaceful 21st century, then who else will do the job? No one, because there is no there, there. Just you, me and our countrymen. The buck stops here, as Harry Truman so aptly put it, and the buck stops now, when as Harry rammed through the U.N. creation of the post-war state of Israel in 1948. Well, these 3 million folks on the Eastern shore of the Med have time again proven their chutzpah against 200 million surrounding Arabs, as we 3 million Colonial Americans had 3 centuries earlier against the 200 Man-O-War British fleet. Both battles were David vs. Goliath, and David won both battles, because that's the way God commanded it, and we should all make it a practice never to argue with God. His grand design for mankind is well beyond our comprehension today, but tomorrow is another day, and in the fullness of time, we will discover that there are billions of other "earths" like ours--some more advanced, and some far behind. We are not alone in His infinite array of universes--God does not waste space.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More Q&A

Myrna from Hartford writes:

Q: Charlie - What do you have to say for your golden girl Palin now after she crapped out and quit? You don’t sound like a quitter, Mr. Speer, so I am assuming you no longer support this clueless woman. I am a staunch Republican, and it’s my belief that this woman has become a joke and a liability to the party. Out of the D.C. loop, as you put it? She’s out of her fricking mind! If she tries to run in the next presidential election, we’re screwed and then we’ll have to put up with Obama for 4 more years. Why haven’t you addressed this in your blog? Afraid? Confused? Alzheimer's? As you say—your silence is deafening!

A: Au contraire, Myrna, I support Sarah Palin today more than I did when she was bogged down in our largest small state - home of our oil, gold, and other natural resources.

She will never run for President, so don’t fret, but she has all the moxie we Republicans need to shed our funk, and get the ball rolling for next year’s bye-elections-which I judge will be the most embattled in our history (1994 Newt included).

There is currently no cabinet post for “American culture” or the fighting spirit behind it—this is tailor-made for Sarah, and I judge that she will bust the balls of Obama’s dream of a Socialist America. In other words, she is the perfect foil in her new role—taking all the lightning bolts, and paving the way for our 2012 Republican candidate to win.

So Myrna, I am neither confused nor senile, just blatantly strategic in my approach to peaceful revolution in the 21st century—concrete solutions to financial and social problems, and the guys and gals that can make it happen.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

More Q&A

Tami from Lubbock, TX writes:

Q: Charlie - I bought your book on Amazon. Parts of it were interesting, but there was really no plot twists or antagonist and I lost interest in the story. Is Italian Fable a better book?

Q: Tami, so kind of you to respond quickly upon reading my American Fable novel. Sorry to disappoint you on my story line, which if you think about it a bit, has well-defined twists and antagonists, but they are subtly related to the profound changes in our system of government and the way we finance it.

In contrast, my Italian Fable deals with pre- and post- WWII events, beginning in 1923, when my roaring twenties hero (a 6’3” 23-year-old Robert Redford) and his two heroines (a 19-year-old Charlize Theron and later on a 28-year-old Diane Lane) face the reality of a Fascist Europe, from the English Channel to the Ural Mountains.

Better story line for your taste? Perhaps, but money and politics also come into play at the tail end, after all the young lovemaking; family formation; and spy war heroics are complete. This second fable echoes my first, but is staged 65 years earlier. I think you may enjoy my fictional hero’s late ‘30’s meetings with FDR, Churchill, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and Pope Pius XII, who are perhaps somewhat more interesting than present-day figures, because they were giants engaged in a global battle.

Tami, give me your mailing address, and I’ll send you a complimentary copy of An Italian Fable as soon as it is published, possibly next month.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

More Q&A

Clyde, an economics professor from Cleveland, Ohio writes:

Q: Charlie - Here’s my take on your financial/social proposals. On the plus side, your estimate of 22% tax proceeds on our $15 trillion GNP seems reasonable.

I can also see a 50% increase in total tax bites paid daily, and incorporated in retail prices as Europe’s VAT as less painful than our existing yearly tax crisis on April 15th. None of us want our grandkids to shoulder the coming tax burden, and we don’t want another Boston Tea Party to end all Boston Tea Parties—full revolution is not the answer in 2010, as it was in 1776.

On the flip side, I see serious problems you haven’t addressed satisfactorily. What makes you think that Joe Councilman can replace Uncle Sam in administering social services like health care, unemployment, disability, homelessness, and economic destitution? They’re 50 million Americans in this leaking boat. The local yokels we have today are pathetic political hacks—no Yale; no Harvard; no M.I.T; no Stanford, much less anyone out of Oxford or Cambridge.

A: Point well taken, Clyde, but all national political problems boil down to local political problems, and I vote for the local guy or gal to deal effectively day-by-day with their neighborhood constituency—South Boston; South Bronx; Southside Chicago; East L.A.; Chinatown, San Francisco; and all the rest of perennially restless America, today enlarged by 20 million illegal immigrants, 12 million of whom will be sent back to Mexico or elsewhere to apply for re-entry.

Local problems are a microcosm of national problems, and it all comes down to the local tax bucks needed to solve neighborhood destitution, foreclosures, unemployment, healthcare, old age, war veterans, youth gangs, and drug proliferation—just to name a few.

So, I propose a dominant grass roots approach based upon a well-paid councilperson. Where do we find these local heroes and heroines? The same place we have historically found them—from a pool of talented, patriotic, educated co-citizens. We give them a 300 grand salary, an aggregate budget of $1 trillion; a year-to-year mandate, and let them run with the ball. They either clean up their neighborhood social/economic mess, or they don’t, in which case they’re toast.

Tough job and tough rules? Yes. Well paid? Yes, with a shot at mayorship or local congressman ($2 million), mostly money put aside for their next self-financed political campaign.

I propose a free enterprise incentive for the best and the brightest, and ignominity for the worst and the dullest—each first Tuesday in November.

Clyde, I don’t have an army of computer modelers to validate my financial proposals, but I’m glad you agree generally with my 10% of everything/replacement of everything, idiot-proof 2-page tax code.

I’m delighted that you recognize the exclusions to double taxation. You’re right. When Joe the Plumber buys his new house, he does not pay 10% for the loan, and then another 10% for the purchase transaction. This is where escrow comes into play—passage of title triggers the taxable event, as it does on Wall Street and other Stock Exchanges, which transfer trillions of dollars every year from one foreign country to another. It’s a safe tax haven to preclude taxation on pass through transactions that do not involve purchase of American assets. On this same note, you’re also right in assuming that New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Memphis, New Orleans, San Francisco, and L.A. make out like bandits with their local stock exchange share of financial transactions. But these big city folks need all the financial help they can garner to eliminate despondency; despair; drug trafficking; high school dropouts; unemployment; and every other social ill we can think of. It’s a start on 21st century American renewal.

Clyde, all local and national problems come down to local wealth accumulation from mom and pop to G.E.—how to create it, and how to tax it fairly. My proposed new middle class will end up having 95% of buying power, and 80% of assets—while the top 5% millionaire/billionaire entrepreneurs will have 20% of assets, and pay 40% of taxes. In my mind, it’s a fair compromise to create an adventurous, 21st century America that will outdo our 19th century in Wild West boldness.