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Jim Cook



Every once in a while I switch the TV channel from Fox to CNBC to see what the liberals are saying.  After listening awhile I get a deep sense of hopelessness and foreboding for our country.  The most important thing for the left is giving money to people.  They are happy to see the growth of food stamps, disability payments, housing subsidies, free healthcare and all the other welfare benefits.  They utterly fail to see the damage it is doing to the recipients.  Whole cities that once flourished have deteriorated into rotting eyesores populated with shambling hulks of chemically dependent drones.  These people are no longer employable.  They have become incompetent and helpless and the liberals can’t see that it’s their doing.

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The Best of Jim Cook Archive

Best of William Histed
April 13, 2010
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 I unwittingly found myself in the midst of national news more years ago that I care to admit.  TV cameras, newspaper reporters were following me around on a regular basis.  I was in my 20s, the governor of Ohio, James A. Rhodes, would fly into the local airport and ask "Where is my young newspaper friend?"
My destroyed newspaper was on the front page of newspapers around the nation, including in Atlanta, in June of 1981.

I was the young Ohio newspaper editor whose dream was to own my own newspaper, only to have what some call an "act of God," a killer tornado destroy my town, my business and my apartment.  Having saved a few thousand dollars in cash saved me.  I bought an empty lot and the bank loaned my construction money based on a free and clear business lot.
I had purchased the 148-year old newspaper, once owned by President Warren G. Harding's father, six months before urban renewal came through on a cloud. Harding told historians that it was the Morrow County (Ohio) Independent---my newspaper--- that he cut his teeth on.  He later went on to own his own paper, the nearby Marion Daily Star.  There is a lot of history here.  A major book quoted Warren Harding as a boy picking up The Independent and saying, "Papa, I kin read!"
This is probably no place to tell you that I refused a 5 percent FEMA loan to rebuild, and instead went to an area bank to borrow money at 17 percent interest (in 1981) to rebuild my newspaper and print shop. I did this because I did not think that the taxpayers created the killer tornado, nor should they pay for me to rebuild.  If the business could not handle the loss, and if customers would no longer support me, I had no reason to be in business.  I preached against government involvement in areas it has no business in and did not want to become a part of the problem.
And thanks to the labor of others, some of it volunteered, we not only never missed a single issue, but we put out a special edition that sold 50,000 copies.  I had opened my big mouth and told the local Rotary Club I belonged to, they could keep all of the money from the copies.  The money went to rebuild the local park.
If you have never been in a devastating killer tornado, you have missed a lot.
About the first things to be hit were our Cardington, Ohio police and fire stations, so there was no response.

We lived without government, actually, for a few hours until local farmers came in with chain saws and tractors and opened up the streets.
With the entire downtown destroyed, a local retired couple just outside of town let me use their basement to put the weekly paper out on.  The owner of the newspaper in Delaware, Ohio, opened up his daily paper to me.
"Bill," he said, "I am not going to charge you overtime to set your paper---just pay what my employees earn per hour and pay for the paper you use."  That was Tommy Thomson, now retired.
That killer tornado I almost was killed by, was a tragedy.  But in its wake, it made me a much stronger person.

We often forget that tragedy and adversity can be our unseen mentors.                                                   

 I was driving into Cardington that afternoon the killer tornado hit.  I saw a barn roof fly by and then a lot of boards.  The town was blocked off...I had to walk into town.  My parents were in the car with me.  We could not believe what was in front of us.
When I got to my devastated apartment---a hole in the ground---my landlady, Fannie Sheese, was covered in blood.  "Thank God you are safe," she told me.   Not everyone else was so lucky.
A few lay dead.  In Al's Restaurant, across the street from my apartment, someone yelled, "Hit the floor," and while there were injuries, there were no deaths  I  tell you this because life is not always pretty.  But we grow stronger through adversity.
Today, many people want to escape adversity and pain at all costs....even if it means more pain later.
We, the great Americans, preach to the world, but in some ways, WE are the ones with the greater problems.

We try any escape mechanism around----movies, crazy sports where "players" rake in tens of millions of dollars, rock and rap music...mindless TV, shopping for stuff that ends up in the landfill---we are ESCAPE artists from any pain or hurt we might anticipate.
Even our government, deficits, debt and "money creation" out of thin air by the Federal Reserve Bank is a way we try to escape from reality, hard work and sometimes, hard luck.
Many mothers will tell you of the pain of childbirth.  Yet, few would give it up for what follows.
We want such a pain free life millions have resorted to drugs and other artificial means to keep any and all pain away.  We numb ourselves with escape routes such as drugs, alcohol, TV, movies, highly paid professional sports to avoid thinking about any pain that might possibly come our way.
Pain is not a problem.  It can be a friend that tells you that you HAVE a problem and you need to deal with it.
 Less than a decade ago, I had a newspaper column printed every week in 350 some papers across the nation.  You can still find some of my columns on the internet that someone picked up along the way.
 But some of my writing didn't match the political beliefs of the syndicators and many current columns I submitted were replaced with older, less controversial columns.
I wrote that going into Iraq would be a major mistake and that it would kill our economy, along with other factors. I said there was no proof of anything and that we were being fed deliberate untruths.

Instead of asking me to argue my beliefs, the syndicator simply refused to send out these columns.
I am not a "pacifist," but even the greatest generals in history knew some battles are not worth the spoils.
Jim Cook of Investment Rarities has never censored this column.  He has never told me what to say or how to say it.  I'm sure that is true for the other columnists on this web site.
 Our wonderful nation is so intense on avoiding pain, we keep flooding the world with our "funny money" and troops who are more like the police department for our Wall Street speculators.
It is totally unsustainable in the long term.  Other nations are quickly waking up to our Federal Reserve "funny money" and are starting to show it, including Red China and India, which are buying gold and silver and the European Union, some of whose leaders believe we are not being honest in our currency and trade  matters.
We need pain, as I experienced in the tornado.
When the killer tornado destroyed nearly everything I had, I asked my parents if I could spend the weekend with them.  I was busy, alright, on the phone. I had no place to stay.  They lived 30 miles away.
As I drove home, for the first time that day, I cried.  ABC Radio News began the hourly newspaper, "The Ohio community of Cardington was all but destroyed by a killer tornado this afternoon."  I pulled into a local Freezer Fresh on the drive to my parents' home in Crestline and sobbed. It felt good to get it out.  I had seen friends and neighbors---many of them subscribers to The Independent, covered with blood and they were crying, not knowing where to go.
Life is not easy.
All of the politicians in the nation---Democrats and Republicans---and the Federal Reserve central bankers they use and who uses them---could do nothing about a killer tornado.
Why do we think life is always going to be easy and without pain?
Why do some still think the politicians can steal from Peter to give to Mary and that the funny money from their central bankers will mask all our hurts and pains that give us character and the will to try to claw our way out of adversity?
In time, the cheap drugs offered by the Federal Reserve Bank will fail.  The system we have now is totally unsustainable for the long term.
Clip this column and bury it in a drawer for several years.  You'll see it then up close and won't need this column.
Pain is one of our best educators....if we don't try to numb ourselves from it.