“Share Our Wealth” Democrats Are Not New

One of the great quotes in history was when Huey Long was elected as Governor of Louisiana on a platform of unprovided promises, and when asked by his Chief of Staff what he should tell the demanding voters, Huey replied, “Tell ’em I lied!”

Now good old Huey would be right at home in the modern Democratic Party, because he was really heavy into Class Warfare. In the 1930s Huey — a Democrat — positioned to run for President on a platform of REALLY soaking the rich, banning all income over a million dollars and seizing all property of all individuals worth over three million dollars.

Long actually called his program, “Share Our Wealth.” Taking from those who have too much and giving to those who have too little was a concept shared between Democrats,  Socialists, and Communists.

You might say that Communists are just Democrats with a  gun, and in a big hurry.

Now three million dollars was a LOT of money in the depression, and a million dollar income was huge, but the point is seizing funds and property to redistribute to a base income of $2,000 for each person was not an unpopular concept in Depression era America.

Even liberal icon Arthur Schlesinger Jr. dubbed the plan as a “hillbilly paradise.”

(Please don’t tell the Occupy Whatever bunch or they will adopt a modern variation of the old Huey Long plan!)

I will always remember the words of a Ph.D Russian woman I knew back in the 1980s, who had just escaped the Soviet Union.  She said, “I have met more communists in Rancho Bernardo than I even knew in Moscow. You call them Democrats.”

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A Tragic Loss…

The tragic death of racing driver Dan Wheldon demonstrates the inherent danger not just of racing, but more importantly “Open Wheel” racing.

Not just are open wheel machines much faster than fendered cars, but fenders permit contact (called “rubbing” in the sport vernacular) without crashing. (Although at speeds above 150 MPH it does instantly reduce stability of cars already running as if on ice!

Open wheel racing cars are much more fragile, and contact wheel to body (made of carbon fibre) means destruction of the receiving body, but, even worse, wheel rubber to wheel rubber is disastrous to both cars.

 

Open wheel racing in the BIG Leagues, Formula One, killed 15 drivers in the 1950s, and 12 in the 1960s, but no driver has died in F1 since 1994. major efforts have gone into design to make Open Wheel racing as safe as possible.

Racing is two races at once, and the easy race is between cars because there is only a five or six mile per hour relative speed between cars. The hard race is the race with the road because there is as much as a 225 mile per hour relative speed with the road.

Wheldon was AVERAGING 225 MPH because he was racing an Open Wheel car on an oval where the speeds are not driven down to 35 MPH as they would on a road course. On the Las Vegas oval many cars never lift off the GO pedal! (The top speed of a Formula One car is a tick under 260 MPH, and the IndyCars are a good minor league Formula One machine.)

Racing the road at 225+ means covering a football field in under a second, leaving no time for reaction even for super coordinated racing drivers, and no traction on the oval surface. They need to keep Open Wheel cars on road courses because car and driver combinations are overdriving their conditions.

I lost my racing partner, Paul Cunningham,  in the early 1960s, in a road course accident at Willow Springs. It is devastating. Great wheelman, great guy. He put two wheels of a Mustang Cobra in the dirt and over-corrected, dying in a fireball in front of his wife and children. That was the day my wife gave me an ultimatum.

Racing is a very unforgiving sport. Death of a driver is so rare these days as to be news because of all of the efforts to keep drivers alive – but every now and again…