Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New purpose in life: Relaxing

Carl Yeager, photo of Bell Tower at Whitemarsh Cemetery in Ambler, PA.

Look what I found on Ralph Nader's website: a link to Marine General Smedley Butler (1881-1940) who said:

"I spent 33 years and 4 months in active service as a member of our country's most agile military force--the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to Major General.

"And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I suspected I was part of a racket all the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all members of the military profession I never had an original thought until I left the service."

More from another website:

August 21, 1931, Butler spoke to an American Legion convention in New Britain CT. Looking back, he reflected on his career. His remarks stunned the audience. Few papers dared report even part of the speech:

"I spent 33 years...being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism....

"I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1916. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City [Bank] boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the rape of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street....

"In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested....I had...a swell racket. I was rewarded with honors, medals, promotions....I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate a racket in three cities. The Marines operated on three continents..." (p 118).

I've spent many a happy evening watching videos on my laptop. Frontline, the premiere documentary filmmakers on the planet, had a particular video I was not able to view. So I sent them an email and lo and behold they responded and told me how to view it successfully.

"The Undertaking" is a 60-minute video about Lynch and Sons, undertakers in a small town in Michigan. It will open your eyes about death in America. And the wonderful Lynch family and how they care for the dead from that first phone call until they go out to the cemetery with the family and cover their loved one with dirt.

Watch it here.

Talked to my 88-yr-old mom earlier today. She baked a few things for Turkey Day tomro with the family in NJ. She also told me she's going thru my dad's letters - she's been doing this for 10 yrs - and has a pile of em to share with me.

She gets tired easily (bad legs) so goes upstairs to her bed where she reads all these letters. Mom, I said, from my own bed, I'll curl up next to you and we'll look at them together.

She mentioned a letter she'd found from Jack Weisberg who used to work with my dad at Majestic. A bachelor, he used to come over for dinner a lot, and taught my mom to drive when she was 39. Her first car was a lime-green Ford Fairlane.

I also spent an inordinate amount of time on Facebook, mostly flipping thru Carl Yeager's photos. Am thinking of using the one on top in the Compass.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving, Ruth.

    As I am certain you know, I have been traveling. I never can keep up when I traveling, especially when I must deal with slow and sporadic internet connections and this trip turned exceptionally rough.

    When I got home, your card and gift was here, waiting for me.

    Thank you.

    My dad would write a letter to my grandma every week, up until she died when I was 20.

    After she died, my aunt took all those letters and burned them.

    When I learned this, I felt so robbed of what been my recorded history.