Archive for April, 2018

Finances

Sunday, April 29th, 2018

Fainnances

(Notr: sorry I missed last week. Problems with Word. As usual.)

Apr. 23, 2018

I don’t envy the treasurer of any business or group. At best it’s hard to make the cash out equal the cash in.

Unless you have a trust fund or large inheritance to cover any shortages.

Nowadays Jane and I do have an income now. Social Security, courtesy of FDR and the Democratic Party, modest pensions from my years teaching, rent from apartments we created from old Hawkhill space, and occasional royalties and sales of books and DVDs through Amazon. We also have considerable medical expenses despite the fact that we are both veterans and get some help from the VA and a bank trust we have been contributing to for many years. And then we have very high real estate taxes as well as road assessments living in this charming, and very expensive, city which tries to sole social and racial problems by throwing money at them. My wife used to pay the bills out of my and her first husband’s salary. She is good at it. Jane is also frugal and far from a spendthrift. She claims she has never worried about much about money and I believe her. Of course she had it easy for the most part with her first husband, Raymond Dykema. She would pay the ordinary household bills out of his ample salary and if any shortages came up, there was always his substantial inheritance money to draw on for cash.

It was a little like that the first three years of my life though I wasn’t aware of it. I was born in 1926. The stock market crashed in 1929. My father and grandfather were rich before the crash. The family owned a large laundry business in Dayton Ohio and stocks in other companies and banks. My grandfather died suddenly. After the crash and ntimely death the business was forced into bankruptcy and among other losses we lost our fine house. In that period my mother had to pay the household bills with no money coming in and no inheritance to turn to for help. To this day I don’t know how she managed to survive!

More personal story will help make my point.

Hawkhill is a little different. I started Hawkhill with $15,000 capital—$10,000 from my savings via teacher pension and $5000 in stock from a well-to-do friend. Sales quickly grew to half a million dollars a year in commercial slide shows, sound filmstrips, videotapes and DVD sales to schools and colleges, and royalties from foreign sales.

At our peak we had 10 full-time employees (one of Jane’s early jobs was to write an employees manual), and began to pay corporate taxes.

It was for sure no Amazon, Microsoft, or Apple and by the turn of the century we were down to two (unpaid) employees. Jane and I did all the shipping, billing, and producing. At this point we decided to not give up.

We would take a dramatic trip around the world to refresh our video in up -date our programs in Science and expand our offerings in History and Social Sciences. We indeed did go around the world; to Hawaii, Japan, China, Taiwan, Cambodia, India, England, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, and Russia (we had been there twice before when it was called The Soviet Union.)

Even before that ambitious trip we were
famous and envy-prone with friends and family for taking glamorous previous trips to search out the original working sites of scientists like Darwin, Pasteur, Curie, Einstein, Galileo, Newton, and early Greek philosophers and scientists. On this round-the-world trip we added famous political and socially famous sites. The total cost was in excess of $40,000. I’m happy to report it was worth it in new video clips, increased sales, profits, better programd, and new ideas I later explored in my blogs, which as you can guess I think will eventually turn out to be bestselling classics.

I detail this for posterity and our children who think we live in some luxury (and we do) in a mansion in the heart of a cool city!

Kate, Jane’s daughter, has recently and graciously volunteered to pay our bills and taxes. It can get complicated and not always good for me. For instance, Kate recently phoned with a request that I sell $5000 worth of my mini $8500 portfolio reserve in order to pay in full the real-state taxes on our house! I politely declined because taxes—we do have to pay them, but not all at once and they are a bad investment. I’m not at all sure but my guess is Kate is operating from a meme inherited from her mother who admits even now that she had never had to sorry about money. (Kate, on the other hand, has always until now, had worries about money.) Jane had assumed when they were children that they were rich from inheritance and the money would never run out. (My father and mother assumed the same thing when I was born in 1926!)

The children also assumed that and in many ways still do. After all, they all went to expensive private schools, they all learned to ski at private clubs, belonged to exclusive country clubs, lived in exclusive houses and neighborhoods, and always felt welcome if not privileged in rich exclusive homes. Extra money for travel or education had never been much of a problem. And it still wasn’t.

Correction. It is a problem now.

Bill Stonebarger. Owner/President, Hawkhill

P.S. Looking for gift for people who have everything but care about ideas—young devout Catholic to strident middle-aged left-liberal clergy to old-guy conservative libertarian. I suggest you buy, give, and read yourself one of my recent books (cheap and, in my opinion, good reads!)—Twilight or Dawn? A Traveler’s Guide to Free-Market Liberal Democracy, East Gilman Street, or Bill’s Blogs. Or view some sound ideas on science, religion, capitalism, and democracy streamed free on Youtube.

Unless you have a trust fund or large inheritance to cover any shortages.

President Donald Trump

Sunday, April 15th, 2018

Apr. 15, 2018

Have you noticed the latest move in the political wars? Apparently, the Associated Press (and presumably other mainstream newspapers) instructed reporters to always refer to the occupant of the White House as President Donald Trump. I know the mainstream clergy is biased against Trump (and he certainly reciprocates the bias) but I’m not certain what they are getting at here. in this seemingly innocuous policy.

Maybe that the president is not a permanent office. If he is impeached (hopefully, according to the clerical media) he will no longer be our president. I’m not aware that they always referred to any previous occupants of the White House as President Barack Obama. Or President George Bush–or even President Franklin D. Roosevelt and he had four terms!

I’m also not sure, pretty sure, it is wishful thinking! Trump is not going anywhere least of all by impeachment despite the lack of real evidence of Russian collusion There is some evidence of sexual affairs. But that is hardly unusual. See witty John F. Kennedy, brother Robert, and charming Bill Clinton and of course black celebrity Bill Cosby. And don’t forget Hollywood moneybags Harvey Weinstein. And scads more politicians and celebrities, including conservative Dwight Eisenhower.

IF Donald Trump doesn’t win in in 2020 it will be a minor miracle that calls into question political wisdom (that it’s the economy, stupid!). For sure,—it’s booming!

He become president by questioning the politically correct clergy, Republican and Democratic. He might be a racist and sexist as many a progressive claims. He has appointed many gifted and eminently qualified women and blacks to high offices. Actually he acts the same way a progressive CEO of the NBA and NFL does. They want above all else to win. As Yogi Berra said quipped when asked what makes a successful baseball coach-–good players!

He would never hire PC politicians like Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer because they are short efficiency, profitability, and common sense. These three shortages–efficiency, profitability, and common sense–are admittedly unforgivable sins to the current President, Donald Trump.

Which brings up why he has been so successful Progressives and Greens who love regulations of course won’t give him any credit.
If the ultimate political maxim holds true Trump is a world master! The stock market is setting records, the employment rate is up and the unemployment rate, especially among minorities, is the lowest ever, manufacturing is making a comeback, ISIS is in decline., we are at peace with the world, salaries a.nd take-home pay are rising are increasing, dependency payments are down, taxes have been cut, and illegal immigrants and criminals are being caught and deported. What’s not to like?

In short, we have never seen the likes of it in this country! You can count on it. Leftist Democrats are desppert to find something to confuse voters with sham scandals and damn President Trump!

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President, Hawkhill

P.S. Looking for a gift for people who have everything but care about ideas—devout religious to strident mid-life left-liberal clergy to old-guy conservative libertarian. I suggest you buy, give, and read yourself one of my recent books (cheap and, in my opinion, good reads.)—Twilight or Dawn? A Traveler’s Guide to Free-Market Liberal Democracy, East Gilman Street, or Bill’s Blogs. Or view some very good sound ideas on science, religion, capitalism, and democracy videos streamed free on YouTube.

Spring

Sunday, April 8th, 2018

April 8, 2018

How many more will I see?

“Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
: When April with its sweet-smelling showers
2 The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
Has pierced the drought of March to the root,”

—Geoffrey Chaucer. (late 14Th century)

By heaven, I do love: and it hath taught me to rhyme, and to be melancholy.

—William Shakespeare, “Love’s Labour’s Lost” (1597)

Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!

—Sitting Bull (1895)

In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.
—Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1835)

“Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.”

–A.E. Houseman, “A Shropshire Lad” (1890)

You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You´re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you´re two months back in the middle of March.”

—Robert Frost (1934)

Today the young pay little attention to spring. (Maybe rhey are too busy with iPhones and Climate Change protests?).

God, how I wish I were young again and able to walk in the sweet-smelling rain, see the cherry trees white with snow, turn to thoughts of love, and see the results!

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President, Hawkhill

P.S Looking for gift for people, young or old, who have everything but care about ideas—devout religous to strident mid-life left-liberal clergy to old-guy conservative libertarian. I suggest you buy, give, and read yourself one of my recent books (cheap and, in my opinion, good reads.)—Twilight or Dawn? A Traveler’s Guide to Free-Market Liberal Democracy, East Gilman Street, or Bill’s Blogs. Or view some very good sound ideas on science, religion, capitalism, and democracy videos streamed free on YouTube.

Easter Reprise

Sunday, April 1st, 2018

April 1, 2018

Easter celebrates Jesus dying on the cross and then rising from the dead to ascend to his heavenly father. Dying on the cross supposedly forgives the sins of the human race for all times. All the way back to the Hunting/Gathering days I assume. Considering the viciousness of the sins of the Holocaust plus the Gulags and the government-caused famines of communism in the relatively calm Modern Age, that is a tall order you will have to admit. I am not a believer in that article  of faith so I don’t support that claim or Easter itself, except as the beginning of spring, which is a worldwide rebirth from the depth and dead of winter!

Martin Luther king Jr., who was a minister and a firm believer, had a passage in his most famous speech, “had a eam that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” (His children’s current squabbling over his trophies and literary legacy would  have embarrassed King but that is another sad story.) King himself personally fought long and bravely the good fight to abolish racism.

I agree with the preacher on his fight against racism but for this Easter I prefer a more inclusive quote from the secular artist and dancer Martha Graham, “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.”

The nob of the matter is the importance of individuals. Consider just a few; Galileo, Isaac Newton, Louie Pasteur, Charles Darwin, Rosa Parks, Oprah Winfrey, Ben Carson, Gloria Steinem, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, the average looter in street riots, the average activist in street protests, Christopher Columbus, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Carnegie, John D Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, FDR, Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower, George Marshall, Douglas McArthur, Barack and Michelle Obama, Donald Trump, Josef Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, Mohammed, Gautama Buddha, Jesus, Jane Denny and her daughter Kate, you the reader, and I the writer —if we all, including the bad guys, had been aborted, our world would be quite different. That is the power of individuals, for good or for ill.

Like the popular Christmas movie, ”It’s a Wonderful Life,” teaches—friends, friends, more friends, and family. In fact popularity and family tops all.

I too shed some tears too when friends and family rescued Jimmy Stewart (as local banker hero George Bailey) averts certain bankruptcy caused by Uncle Billy’s careless mistake and the evil banker Mr. Potter’s (Lionel Barrymore) taking advantage.

I agree wholeheartedly that friends and family are above all most important for most people,

A relatively small segment of the population also thinks ideas are of equal importance. I count myself among this small minority. I’m by no means alone though. Nearly everyone in this country, or the world for that matter, has opinions, often strongly held, about religion, politics, guns, sex, abortion, and a whole lot of other contentious issues. Relatively few have historical data and theoretical concepts to back up their opinions. I have. Plenty. As readers undoubtedly aware.

Some resent me for writing and saying this with alarming chutzpah. I do recognize the arrogance of claiming science as my support here when I have so slim a following among real working scientists know. (I have never won a single award from my peers.) Heck, I don’t even have a PhD.  I could plead that Darwin or many early scientists didn’t either! But both Pasteur and Darwin did win many awards and much acclaim in their lifetime though worthy of note both had to wait many years for public and in many cases professional approval of their revolutionary ideas. (Actually some far-right religious folk and far-left clergy still object to evolution and germ theory so both are still waiting for final vindication of their ideas.)

What’s the rush? It will come. Guaranteed.

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President, Hawkhill

P.S Looking for gift for people who have everything but care about ideas–young devout Catholic to strident middle-aged left-liberal clergy to old-guy conservative libertarian. I suggest you buy, give, and read yourself one of my recent books (cheap and, in my opinion, good reads!)—Twilight or Dawn? A Traveler’s Guide to Free-Market Liberal Democracy, East Gilman Street, or Bill’s Blogs. Or view some good ideas on science, religion, capitalism, and democracy streamed free on YouTubetheir skin but by the content of their character.