Windows on the World of Raymond Plank
Founder, Apache Corp

Vol. 2016 No. 3


U.S. Politics


My, what a big topic!  And screwed up to boot! 


My first exposure to U.S. politics was in 1929, the year of the collapse of the economy.  My dad had purchased a Packard car from Shaw Motors of Minneapolis despite the crash and my then liberated Mom noted, “I’ll learn to tame the beast, sooner or later,” as she spun the wheels in the driveway gravel. 

Dad and I had listened to election returns at my age seven, and I have followed and often been involved since that time.

Post WWI saw times, not unlike those following WWII, between the years 1918 through the twenties until the “Great Depression of 1929.” Former Undersecretary of the Navy, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who had risen to N.Y. Governor, became U.S. President in 1932 following Herbert Hoover for whom the Hoover Dam was named, to be changed by the Democrats to the Boulder Dam encompassing the shores of Lake Mead near the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. 

In 1931 the World’s Fair was in Chicago and the Chicago White Sox hosted the New York Yankees with Babe Ruth batting left handed, pointed to right field, swatted a long foul ball, followed by a second pointing again with his bat and swatting the ball out of the park, to our delight.  If I remember correctly, Dad and I had stayed at the Shoreham Hotel, south of Chicago; the pleasant hotel reception area to be overrun later by the growing Negro population coming to Chicago, despite the racial prejudice, which continued to prevail during the ongoing Civil Rights Movement. 

I believe it was 1863 during the Civil War when Abraham Lincoln, in my opinion, our greatest president, freed the slaves in his proclamation address as the battle over slavery with Jefferson Davis of the South seeking to secede from the Union.  In the years of the American Revolution, the British sought to bring unruly colonies to heel.  Patrick Henry caught the spirit of the era with “Give me liberty, or give me death,” and political differences lead to duels, in which one contestant killed or wounded his opponent with his pistol, observed by like-minded attendants present at the resolution by death. 

With the end of the Civil War came the Carpetbaggers seeking the remnants remaining in the South, pillaging, and stealing.  It was not a pretty period of vandalism; too bad Lincoln, admired as he was, was not there to limit the chaos from his personal base of credibility. 

When England’s Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, returned to London following his Munich meeting with Adolph Hitler, his message was, “I have returned with peace and honor for our time.”  Hitler quickly illustrated otherwise; his troops and tanks rolling into Austria-Hungary and soon making mincemeat out of the French Maginot line in which they had placed much stock.

England turned to Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, whose British coal mines were rapidly depleting having smeared coal dust across beautiful London, England.  What saved her were large deposits of oil and natural gas found in the North Sea by the energy industry.  I was fortunate to meet Prime Minister Thatcher in New York City having been interested that she was a devotee of two books “Atlas Shrugged,” and “Fountainhead.”  London’s buildings were restored to the point where they sparkled.

Spain under General Franco became a warm up ground for Europe’s advancing military technology to be exercised by the more advanced weapons of war.  “Peace for our time?”  Ernest Hemingway authored “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” the lead role going to the beautiful Ingrid Bergman.

In Russia, the art world produced “Doctor Zhivago” while earlier Tsar Nicholas after celebrating his coronation with a several-day entertainment extravaganza, had involved hundreds of couples, two of whom hailed from my Minnesota birthplace, neglecting to search those who had made history’s greatest extravaganza possible, but then had Tsar Nicholas’ guns turned on the poor slaying them in droves, their stiff frozen legs sticking out of the horse-drawn carts to be disposed of. 

The Tsar and his family were executed, while the demoralized armed forces were obliterated by the Germans, who were then seeding their oats. 

The U.S. supplied arms to the Russian forces while the Russians supplied manpower for Stalin to defend Leningrad (later named St. Petersburg) while a shattered B-29 bombed Tokyo.  Hitler’s troops were helped to their graves by the fast-moving General George Patton; making mincemeat of the Nazis on his warfront.    

So nations know how to make war but can we demonstrate we know how to make peace, or to operate within our financial capability.  No way!  When we cross the national debt limit of twenty trillion dollars the $2 of twenty will be followed by thirteen zeroes.


The Political National Conventions:  Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump


I had expected that after the F.B.I. head examined the corruptions of Hillary, his findings would be more severe than observing she had made “careless but not criminal mistakes” in her role as Secretary of State in Benghazi. 

One of the parties that Obama lowered the boom on was Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense, for noting a position differing from that of Obama.  I look forward to reading Gates’ book, “Duty” sent to me by Lollie Plank on Father’s Day 2016.  For Bill Clinton to lecture on the importance of family values when coupled with Hillary’s concept that her winning a couple hundred thousand dollars in the future’s market would go to their daughter, Chelsea’s college education but she no longer had the time to play the future’s market is a bold procrastination.   

In Whitewater where the Clintons were in partnership with a realtor and savings and loan operator, the banker, a useful high school graduate and “Woman of the Year” rather than testify in matters dealing with the Rose Law firm took a jail term instead while two Rose Law firm young attorneys applied to growing unemployment rather than work for the firm which is deeply incriminated in malfeasance.  Presumably Hillary’s $100,000 gain in the market from a short position may have enabled a food company to dump animal guts in the Arkansas River.  It was reported that a third party had delivered payment to Hillary at the time that the law firm payroll was also extended to business she brought them.  I no longer purchase products bearing that food company’s label.

A couple years ago candidate Hillary, then Secretary of State, hopped in a government plane to see how one of the wars we were fighting came along; she said it was just like a real battle to come in with enemy planes in the air (to which she later acknowledged she was a little bit carried away in that statement) and then true to form stopped and picked up an attractive little child waiting to be cuddled saying “Oh my, I wish Bill and I had had another child.” 

A woman’s lib organization leader once noted of Bill Clinton, “after all he’s done for women I’d be glad to give him oral sex.”  I wondered at the time, if possibly she had meant to say “to women” rather than “for women.”

Till we meet again, all best and thank you!