Important Notice About The Old Money Book Blog

I hope all of you are enjoying a safe and productive new year.

Life here in Paris is still very regulated, with an 8pm to 6am curfew in effect. Infection rates hover at a high but manageable level. Masks and social distancing are the norm. Cafes, restaurants, and museums are still closed and will certainly not reopen until at least mid-February, if then. Travel in and out of the country is very limited. As vaccines slowly roll out, the city seems to be playing The Waiting Game. It is all very uneventful.

Not so in the United States. The January 6, 2021, attack our nation’s capitol were shocking to most people, but, sadly, not surprising to many. And it is this event—and the issues behind them—that must be addressed.

Much of what I wrote in The Old Money Book and a large portion of what we discuss on this blog concerns values. Not exclusively ‘American values,’ but what could most accurately be described as ‘moral values’ or ‘sacred values.’

I have avoided directly addressing political topics here, preferring to keep the focus on those values and the Old Money way of life.

This Old Money philosophy has been embraced by liberals and conservatives alike and remains accessible to everyone. It offers its benefits to everyone. It is a tool that is neither Republican or Democrat. If used properly, it renders uniform results in terms of quality of life, personal fulfillment, and financial independence, regardless of a person’s background, income level, or political leanings.

However, as the author of The Old Money Book and curator, moderator, and primary contributor to this blog, I find it impossible not to discuss what is happening in the United States at present.

To ignore the elephant in the room would be negligent and hypocritical of me and a disservice to this community. This is not a fashion blog or a forum in which we exchange stir fry recipes. We discuss what is ethical, what is noble, what is challenging, what is rewarding, and, in a nutshell, what is right.

We pursue and explore the best way to live, the best way to behave, the best way to treat others, and the best way to engage with our world.

As we’ve done this, I’ve steered clear of politics and ‘stayed in my lane’ for several reasons: readers don’t come here for political opinions or news. There are thousands of websites for that. Second, I consider ethics to be just as important as laws, and I felt like addressing our nobler instincts would target an underserved market, as it were. And finally, I sought to be a unifying force, not another divisive element, in the public square.

I was content to take this position in a fairly reasonable political environment. Citizens and political parties with differing points of view could debate ideas, campaign for votes, put a variety of candidates in office, compromise to get legislation passed, and then begrudgingly shake hands, having made some practical progress despite all the partisan rhetoric. I could remain here, writing about blue blazers, etiquette in France, and honor. 

And it was fine for awhile. Everybody was playing by the rules, more or less. And when a politician did get caught with their hand in the cookie jar, they were kicked out of office and sometimes invited to be a guest of the government they once served, you know, in prison.

Overall, the messy business of government in a democracy ambled along, dragging its ever-present baggage of corruption, waste, cynical calculation, hyperbole, and hypocrisy with it toward a better day.

People and politicians disagreed bitterly about many domestic issues and a few international ones (usually whether or not we go to war, and with whom).

Generally, we had the feeling that, differences in policy aside, most of the people in government had the best interests of the U.S. at heart: a shared idea of a better society. We just had conflicting philosophies about how to get there.

We remained, by and large, united as Americans. Especially against foreign adversaries. Our leaders put country before party when it really came down to brass tacks. In times that tested our nation and our democratic norms, they put public good before political gain.

As citizens, we reluctantly agreed that elected officials and unelected bureaucrats actually got some things done every once in awhile. Our agencies handled the tedious details of government. Our men and women in uniform kept us safe. In times of crisis, our leaders stepped up and acted bravely, selflessly, and nobly. Sometimes, they acted heroically. Imperfect as they were, they put our ideals into action. They restored and nourished our faith in our imperfect system.

Through it all, our lives were somewhat predictable. Most of us had hope that things might be better in the future. And all of us were certain we were a hell of a lot better off than many other countries in the world.

Above all else, most of the time we endeavored to settle our differences and correct real or perceive injustices through debate and protest, campaigns and voting, movements and marches, litigation and legislation, writing and speaking.

With a very mixed track record, we endeavored to follow the will of the majority without completely trampling the rights of the minority, with liberty and justice–if not for all–many.

Now, citizens of our country have resorted to violence and insurrection directed at the very heart of our democratic system of government. Destruction of property, threats of violence, intimidation, physical assaults, attempted kidnapping, attempted murder, and murder have been the result, all with the intention of altering an election outcome. 

Having lived my life as one of the most fortunate of Americans, I cannot stand by and remain silent. Events have swerved uncontrollably out of their lane and now endanger us all. In response, I’m not going to lean on my horn, scream at the top of my lungs, and give into road rage.

However, like any courteous driver, I am going to signal and let you know that I, too, am changing lanes.

Exactly how this change will impact this blog is something I’m thinking about right now. Some decisions I’ve made, and some are yet to come.

I’ll share all this with you in the coming days, and I look forward to our lively and enlightening conversations in the future.

Until then, be safe, stay well, and fasten your seat belts.

  • BGT

23 thoughts on “Important Notice About The Old Money Book Blog

  1. What Papa would invariably counsel in the face of life’s seemingly impossible circumstances was – first take a BREATH, then SAY A PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING, AND INCLUDE A REQUEST FOR COUNSEL AND GUIDANCE, and then – finally – HAVE AT IT.

    With greatest respect sir,

  2. At first, I thought this was a post saying you would be shutting down The Old Money Blog. Thank goodness that’s not it. I’m looking forward to seeing in which lane you land, my friend.

    Happy New Year,

  3. What’s driving the political shifts in the USA? Are you seeing this in Europe as well?

    I feel that the political shift away from the center – toward the the extreme left and right – is driven by increasing economic desperation on the part of tens of millions of Americans that are victims of automation, globalization and the accumulation of wealth by the 1%. These trends are accelerating – which could result in greater homelessness, poverty and violence.

  4. Thank you, Byron, for this thoughtful, calm and intelligent post. I knew that, no matter how insane and horrible things got, I could rely on you and your readers for civility, courtesy, intelligence and thoughfulness. Thank you (and all of your readers) for being a shining beacon of decency in these very dark days. I feel that the best I can do now is continue to live my life according to Old Money Values and, hopefully, be at least a small influence for true American values. To you and all of us here at Old Money Book, thank you! You affirm my belief in courage, intelligence and strength every day.

  5. I was interested to read what you would write about this, and I applaud the new direction for the blog. Personally, I’m still in shock about last week’s events — and, to speak plainly, afraid. Seeing some of the corporations which have enabled it stand up against the violence is somewhat heartening, but it’s by far too little, too late. Byron and Heinz-Ulrich, you’ve both summed up my thoughts and feelings as well as is possible right now. Thank you, and I look forward to having a little faith in humanity restored by what everyone here has to say.

  6. Violence is almost aways wrong, regardless of what it aims to achieve. But many seem to tolerate it, when it’s for a “good” cause. Haven’t our governments tolerated/sponsored violence abroad, when it could lead to a “favourable” outcome? Don’t the French celebrate their revolution, despite the attrocities committed? There’s an interesting quote by Edmund Burke in this regard.

    A possible lesson is that it is unwise to pontificate about what is the “right”. More useful to human progress is the spirit of debate. Keep talking, postpone judgement.

    Oxford Union invites speakers of opposing stances, on particular issues. I remember they invited Bannon, in the aftermath of the 2016 elections. For a good reason.

    The courage and discomfort of listening to invalid views is preferable than the misleading certainty of holding the truth.

  7. First of all, I am proud of you for making a statement. Not the kind companies make, to appease, but because you truly believe something must be said.

    Secondly, I agree with your outrage at the rage; however, there is an apologetic tone to the post, and you do not need to apologize for having stood for what you believed in. When you decide to realign your alliances, that’s good, because it indicates you are paying attention. What you had allied yourself with is no longer the same- not the people, nor the ideas, nor the intentions. What seemed solid and consistent is not. Yes, it’s very unsettling. When we are young, we believe our parents to be right, and to have the answers. But of course, not all parents are good examples or admirable people, so if children grow up and realize this about their parents, that does not make the children wrong for having trusted and admired them.

    We do know changing and growing is not easy. I am a bit scared for our country. I hope that somehow, more minds will be opened than closed. SO much has happened in the world the last year, and a lot of pent-up feelings have reached a boiling point. Boiling changes the nature of foods. No one can anymore ignore our country has changed.

  8. I hope you are referring to ALL of the violence that American citizens have caused over the past year. Many businesses that were already crippled by lockdowns were destroyed by violence. Why speak out now and not then? Why not speak out about individuals who looted high end stores in NY. Please be sure to also condemn this outrageous behavior as well.

    1. Looting stores does not compare to attacking our nation’s Capitol because you don’t like the results of a legal democratic election. One of those things is stupid. The other is an attack on democracy. They are not equivalent.

  9. Thank you for letting us all know, and for being a courteous driver. I agree with Elle that you don’t have to sound apologetic (and you may not feel apologetic). Not siding with neo-Nazis and anti-Semites is always the best way to go. You are not alone.

  10. As this community prepares to discuss topics less comfortable than they have in previous years, consider the following:

    “ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
    ― George Orwell

    Orwell was referring to a knife that cut (both) ways.

  11. Thank you for participating in censorship, like your comrades, by not posting my previous comment. I guess your side isn’t really interested in having meaningful discussion that does not agree with you. Sad.

    1. Hi Katy. The WordPress algorithm sometimes requires me to manually approve comments from new contributors. It’s not censorship. It’s technology. What will get you 86’d from this blog is copping an attitude. Readers disagree with me all the time. It’s simply done politely.

      You’re welcome to comment in the future with that in mind, and I mean that sincerely. Please give it some thought. – BGT

  12. Mr. Tully,
    I’ve read and benefittedfrom all your books. I enjoy reading your blog. I respect your opinion and the way you always maintain your civility! I look forward to hearing your take on things.

  13. The lack of politics on this blog has been a relief, but there comes a point when speaking out against people wearing hoodies celebrating the Confederacy and Aushwitz who are throwing a violent tantrum because the election didn’t go their way takes precedence over my comfort while reading. Thank you. We have had four years of people playing nice with evil, and pretending that vulgarity and trashy behavior don’t matter. It is well past the time when we stopped excusing and ignoring such nonsense and started demanding basic decency from our elected officials.

  14. Hi Byron:

    I tried to comment earlier but got interrupted by something else and couldn’t finish. I look forward to what you will present in your blog. Best wishes to you in these difficult times.

  15. Would you not say the the individuals with big smiles and funny outfits that were posing for pictures in the capital were “stupid”? I would argue that when you allow unchecked violence to ransack neighborhoods and businesses that is an attack on democracy. Our country is built on the ingenuity and hard work of business owners. I would also be bold in saying that the decency and credibility of our “democracy” has been chipped away for decades by politicians on both sides that sell out our country for their own selfish gain. If you do not have a populace with common sense and decency..then what democracy do you truly have?

  16. Hello Byron,

    Thank you for the timely and well-thought message. I am wondering if use of debt to buy overpriced items or services, or those that do not hold value, is driving the American public crazy on some level.

    If collectively everyone could step back from the brink a bit, cooler heads may prevail.

  17. Violence of any kind is never the answer, whether it’s causing a riot at the capitol building, destroying and looting businesses and assaulting innocent people trying to protect their livelihoods, or banging and pounding and trying to shake the foundations of the supreme court just because you don’t like the justice who’s being sworn in. As a supposed civilized society, we should know that these are not intelligent ways to approach anything. Unfortunately, the media is gaslighting everything, and that just makes it worse.

  18. As a foreigner may I respectfully suggest the following: any society or country that allows the Bible in one hand, a shotgun in the other (Legally, such as open-carry) and at the same time believes they can provide “guidance to the world” ( I quote Biden ), is chasing fools gold. Examples of others who tried and failed are South Africa. Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia. Angola. Mocambique.

    The only other country I can think of off-hand that allows ‘open-carry’ is the Yemen. Hardly an example of “supposed civilized society…

    I worked in the oil industry for many years. In my last five years I had the opportunity to visit a number of rig-sites in the US in Texas, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. While I naturally met some God-fearing and truly good people, most, if not all, had firearms in their vehicles or ‘packed heat’ when at home. They told me openly that they even carried side-arms to church on Sundays “Just in case……., you can never tell”.

    I sensed a people who lived in fear of something. I heard people tell me “there could be another civil war”. It was easy to dismiss such talk as Redneck nonsense. As far back as 1998 and during my first visits to the US I sensed some strange ‘atmosphere‘ in the workplace. A total absence of what the French call ‘Joie de Vivre’. An American, a Texan, whom I met in the workplace outside of the US, when I asked what that peculiar atmosphere was he replied straight out: “ Fear “. Fear of everything.

    A person, any person, might take simple aspirin for headaches. Basic stuff. They do it anytime they have a headache but suddenly after twenty five years they go into full anaphylactic shock because their bodies had built up an allergy and that final tablet was enough. So it is with mental, behavioral and societal situations.

    Again and respectfully, may I ask: “ has the US society, or at least a segment of it, taken one aspirin too much ? Whatever Trump did or didn’t do, under the US method of election, “someone” voted him in. Many of those “someones” stormed the Capitol. Many didn’t take part but had nevertheless cast their votes for him.

    Why I agree a thousand percent that this or any forum for discussion should be conducted in a civilized manner perhaps this is the time to ask those people who stormed the Capitol what it is they hate about ‘ girls in pearls ‘ and guys in OCBDs, and others.

    I once had a colleague on a rig come up to me, out of the blue, and ask “ do you come from a monied family ?”. I tried to dismiss and make light of it. Then he said “ we’re just normal working folk here, please go easy on us “. Why am I telling you this ? Because it was left to (me) to question (myself) and figure out what it was that made them uncomfortable, perhaps fearful In my interaction with them.

    My suggestion is that, if they’re prepared to play by the rules, the ‘stormers of the Capitol’ should be encouraged to participate in the OM blog. Let’s hear what they hate, makes them fearful and when it was that they took that last and fateful aspirin. Let’s hear their ‘George Orwell’. But be prepared to question yourself when they tell us and perhaps even feel very, very uncomfortable.

    With much respect.

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