The bigger they come, the harder they fall - Robert Fitzsimmons
When asked about his biggest opponent, the heavyweight boxer James Jeffries, Robert Fitzsimmons uttered the phrase that still trips off the tongues of underdogs the world over. It is a catchphrase worth remembering, and even chanting, if we are to get our house in order. Of course, government keeps getting bigger and bigger, and at some point, it will fall under the weight of its own hubris.
In the meantime, it is beating down the American spirit and needs to be stopped in its tracks. Yesterday, we saw two signs of big lumbering, arrogance, and an untrustworthy government.
Calling on the spirit of Fitzsimmons as inspiration, let's review his remarkable career and legacy. Born Robert James in England, nicknamed "Ruby Robert," Fitzsimmons moved to New Zealand at an early age to work in his brother's blacksmith forge. His boxing ability, which included an unnatural strength and precise punching, finally brought him to the United States and a Middleweight title. He became famous for moving on to win the Heavyweight crown and later, the Light Heavyweight title. His tussles were masterpieces and huge events. When he fought James Corbett, wealthy people and stars, like Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp attended.
Fitzsimmons fought Jeffries in Coney Island, where he lost in the 10th round knockout (most fights were scheduled for 20 to 25 rounds back then).
|Tale of the Tape|
|Robert Fitzsimmons||Particulars||James Jeffries|
|172 pounds||Weight||219 pounds|
To this day, the rematch is still discussed among boxing historians. Jeffries was favored 10 to 4, and the live gate was $31,800. Fought in 1902, Fitzsimmons was said to have shellacked his opponent in a bid to reclaim his title but in the end, he was much older, much smaller, and the bigger man pulled out a miraculous victory. After the bout, bystanders remarked how the winner had been beaten to a pulp; some even cried it was "fixed."
The moral of the story is despite determination, valor, and having the ability to beat the bigger opponent is not always easy. However, it is time that citizens take a stand.
What Did The NHTSA Know?
While Mary Barra took a well-deserved grilling from members of the Senate yesterday, I continued to ponder, when would there be introspection, and when would the government pummel itself in search of the truth. One does not have to be a conspiracy theorist to smell a gigantic rat. Why didn't our overeager government of endless rules and regulations leap into the GM problem? It is hard not to think it had something to do with the bailout of the failed automaker.
Amber Marie Rose was 16-years old when she died in a GM Cobalt back in July 2005. In the crash, the driver seat airbag failed to deploy, as the ignition switch had shifted to "accessory" mode from "run," which meant her radio might have been powered, but the engine was not. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration investigated. In addition, there was another glaring red flag in another accident where the airbag failed. The NHTSA received 164 complaints over a nine-year period about stalled engines. One has to wonder...
Making matters worse, the Toyota Corolla received scathing heat from the administration from Ray LaHood, even warning the public against driving the car. Despite fewer complains than the Cobalt, Toyota was forced to recall its troubled car in 2010. Yesterday, Senator Claire McCaskill slammed General Motors saying the company flat-out "lied." The company lied, put out a subpar product and tried to avoid fixing the problem, and even attempted a cover-up.
Now the question is what did our government do while all this was occurring, and why?
The Real George Washington Bridge Scandal
|Tale of the Tape|
|PA Toll||January 1, 2007||December 31, 2013||Change|
|Peak EZ Pass||$5.00||$11.00||120%|
|Off Peak EZ Pass||$4.00||$9.00||125%|
We are told that the costs of tolls are climbing, because of wear and tear and the need to fix all those crumbling bridges and tunnels. Commonsense tells thousands of others and me, who commute into New York, that this was dishonest. If the toll increases at the rate of inflation, cash payers would have to fork over $6.74, and those using the EZ Pass $5.62, the tally is significantly more (see table). As it turns out, even New York University agrees. The Rubin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at NYU, found that more and more "zero-return" projects are forcing those that generate profits, to be used to demand even more.
Moreover, this is a form of redistribution of wealth and the ultimate form of hostage taking, as there are few options for getting into Manhattan. In fact, my daily route through the George Washington Bridge virtually pays for the entire Port Authority system. Just keep taxing the rich folks from New Jersey. I guess the thinking is that anyone who can afford to drive to work, with the cost of gas and Manhattan parking can afford it...no big deal.
If you take a PATH train into the city, you must be some poor soul going to work against your own will.
There are now more money-losing services and programs, than there are services and programs that actually generate profits.
PATH (commuter rail) Deficit now $370 million
2000 - 2012
Annual rate of growth
Bus Terminal Deficit $112 million
Marine Terminal Deficit $100 million
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are just one glaring example of overreach and the overspending endemic of corrupt big government. We have to fight back, although I realize if we get out of our car to protest too long, it doubles the time needed to get to work.
I am told the bigger they come, the harder they fall...one day we will find out...
Today's Session: Trade Deficit
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the trade deficit during February totaled $42.3 billion, increasing from the $39.3 billion reported for January and landing above the Street's consensus estimate of $39.3 billion. The trade deficit increased as a result of a decline in exports and an increase in imports. The decrease in exports of goods reflected decreases in industrial supplies and materials ($2.7 billion) and capital goods ($0.9 billion). The increases in imports occurred in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($1.0 billion); consumer goods ($0.1 billion); and other goods ($0.1 billion).