Monday, July 4, 2011

The Cotsworth Calendar

In brief, the plan is to have thirteen standard months, with each month as follows:
S t a n d a r d  M o n t h
The new month will be inserted between June and July, as at that time of the year the change will cause the least confusion in respect to the seasons. The 365th day will be December 29th but will have no week-day name. December 29th, to be known as "Year Day," will be inserted between Saturday, December 28th, and Sunday, January 1st. In like manner, in Leap Year the extra day will be placed between June 28th the first day of the new month. (Top)
All the defects referred to can be overcome by this plan. The proposed calendar will have the following advantages over the present calendar.
  1. All months would have the same number of days (28), the same number of working days, except holidays, and the same number of Sundays.
  2. All months would have exactly four weeks.
  3. Each week-day would always occur on the same four fixed dates of the month.
  4. Quarter-years and half-years would be of the same length.
  5. The month would always end on Saturdays.
  6. A holiday would always occur on the same week-day.
  7. The date of Easter could be fixed.
  8. Yearly calendars would no longer be necessary, one fixed monthly calendar would be sufficient.
These features would be of great benefit to business, accounting and statistical, for all months would be comparable without any adjustments. The month of exactly four weeks would obviate many of the adjstments now necessary between four- and five-week months. The reckoning of the lapse of time for interest and other purposes would be simplified. Meeting dates could be set in advance without difficulty. All holidays could be placed on Monday with advantage to industry and workers. A fixed Easter would prevent undesirable fluctuation in certain industries.
A Faster Money Turnonver
As there would be thirteen monthly settlements during the year instead of twelve, there would be a faster turnover in money; the same annual volume of business could be handled with less money.
The inconveniences and difficulties that would be experienced during the frist few years of the new calendar are comparatively slight compared with the many advantages which would be obtained in the business, social, and religious worlds by the adoption of the proposed calendar.
In 1922 the League of Nations appointed a Committee of Inquiry to study the question of calendar reform. More than 130 different proposals were submitted to the committee, but the Cotsworth plan is the one outstanding proposal which meets the needs of business. It has already been endorsed by a number of business organizations. . . . In fact, many concerns have already adopted a thirteen month calendar for their records and are already getting some of the advantages of the proposed plan, but there are obvious disadvantages to using two calendars. Only universal adoption of the proposed plan would be of real benefit to business as a whole.


Robert Green Ingersoll


                  New York, December 13, 1886.

                The Superstitions of Public Men.

     MR. CHIEF RULER AND GENTLEMEN: I suppose that the superstition
most prevalent with public men, is the idea that they are of great
importance to the public. As a matter of fact, public men, -- that
is to say, men in office, -- reflect the average intelligence of
the people, and no more. A public man, to be successful, must not
assert anything unless it is exceedingly popular. And he need not
deny anything unless everybody is against it. Usually he has to be
like the center of the earth, -- draw all things his way, without
weighing anything himself.

     One of the difficulties, or rather, one of the objections, to
a government republican in form, is this: Everybody imagines that
he is everybody's master. And the result has been to make most of
our public men exceedingly conservative in the expression of their
real opinions. A man, wishing to be elected to an office, generally
agrees with most everybody he meets. If he meets a Prohibitionist,
he says: "Of course I am a temperance man. I am opposed to all
excesses, my dear friend, and no one knows better than myself the
evils that have been caused by intemperance." The next man happens
to keep a saloon, and happens to be quite influential in that part
of the district, and the candidate immediately says to him -- "The
idea that these Prohibitionists can take away the personal liberty
of the citizen is simply monstrous!" In a moment after, he is
greeted by a Methodist, and he hastens to say, that while he does
not belong to that church himself, his wife does; that he would
gladly be a member, but does not feel that he is good enough. He
tells a Presbyterian that his grandfather was of that faith, and
that he was a most excellent man, and laments from the bottom of
his heart that he himself is not within that fold. A few moments
after, on meeting a skeptic, he declares, with the greatest fervor,
that reason is the only guide, and that he looks forward to the
time when superstition will be dethroned. In other words, the
greatest superstition now entertained by public men is that
hypocrisy is the royal road to success.

     Of course, there are many other superstitions, and one is,
that the Democratic party has not outlived its usefulness. Another
is, that the Republican party should have power for what it has
done, instead of what it proposes to do,

     In my judgment, these statesmen are mistaken. The people of
the United States, after all, admire intellectual honesty and have
respect for moral courage. The time has come for the old ideas and
superstitions in politics to be thrown away -- not in phrase, not
in pretence, but in fact; and the time has come when a man can
safely rely on the intelligence and courage of the American people.

     The most significant fact in this world to-day, is, that in
nearly every village under the American flag the school-house is
larger than the church. People are beginning to have a little
confidence in intelligence and in facts. Every public man and every
private man, who is actuated in his life by a belief in something

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

                      THIRTEEN CLUB DINNER.

that no one can prove, -- that no one can demonstrate, -- is, to
that extent, a superstitious man.

     It may be that I go further than most of you, because if I
have any superstition, it is a superstition against superstition.
It seems to me that the first things for every man, whether in or
out of office, to believe in, -- the first things to rely on, are
demonstrated facts. These are the corner stones, --  these are the
columns that nothing can move, -- these are the stars that no
darkness can hide, -- these are the true and only foundations of

     Beyond the truths that have been demonstrated is the horizon
of the Probable, and in the world of the Probable every man has the
right to guess for himself. Beyond the region of the Probable is
the Possible, and beyond the Possible is the Impossible, and beyond
the Impossible are the religions of this world. My idea is this:
Any man who acts in view of the improbable or of the Impossible -
that is to say, of the Supernatural -- is a superstitious man. Any
man who believes that he can add to the happiness of the Infinite,
by depriving himself of innocent pleasure, is superstitions. Any
man who imagines that he can make some God happy, by making himself
miserable, is superstitious, Any one who thinks he can gain
happiness in another world, by raising hell with his fellow-men in
this, is simply superstitious. Any man who believes in a Being of
infinite wisdom and goodness, and yet believes that that Being has
peopled a world with failures, is superstitious. Any man who
believes that an infinitely wise and good God would take pains to
make a man, intending at the time that the man should be eternally
damned, is absurdly superstitious. In other words, he who believes
that there is, or that there can be, any other religious duty than
to increase the happiness of mankind, in this world, now and here,
is superstitious.

     I have known a great many private men who were not men of
genius. I have known some men of genius about whom it was kept
private, and I have known many public men, and my wonder increased
the better I knew them, that they occupied positions of trust and

     But, after all, it is the people's fault. They who demand
hypocrisy must be satisfied with mediocrity. Our public men will be
better and greater and less superstitious, when the people become
greater and better and less superstitious. There is an old story,
that we have all heard, about Senator Nesmith. He was elected a
Senator from Oregon. When he had been in Washington a little while,
one of the other Senators said to him: "How did you feel when you
found yourself sitting here in the United States Senate?" He
replied: "For the first two months, I just sat and wondered how a
damned fool like me ever broke into the Senate. Since that, I have
done nothing but wonder how the other fools got here."

     To-day the need of our civilization is public men who have the
courage to speak as they think. We need a man for President who
will not publicly thank God for earthquakes. We need somebody with
the courage to say that all that happens in nature happens without
design, and without reference to man; somebody who will say that

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

                      THIRTEEN CLUB DINNER.

the men and women killed are not murdered by supernatural beings,
and that everything that happens in nature, happens without malice
and without mercy. We want somebody who will have courage enough
not to charge an infinitely good and wise Being with all the
cruelties and agonies and sufferings of this world. We want such
men in public places, -- men who will appeal to the reason of their
fellows, to the highest intelligence of the people; men who will
have courage enough, in this the nineteenth century, to agree with
the conclusions of science. We want some man who will not pretend
to believe, and who does not in fact believe, the stories that
Superstition has told to Credulity.

     The most important thing in this word is the destruction of
superstition. Superstition interferes with the happiness of
mankind. Superstition is a terrible serpent, reaching in frightful
coils from heaven to earth and thrusting its poisoned fangs into
the hearts of men. While I live, I am going to do what little I can
for the destruction of this monster. Whatever may happen in another
world -- and I will take my chances there, -- I am opposed to
superstition in this. And if, when I reach that other world, it
needs reforming, I shall do what little I can there for the
destruction of the false.

     Let me tell you one thing more, and I am done. The only way to
have brave, honest, intelligent, conscientious public men, men
without superstition, is to do what we can to make the average
citizen brave, conscientious and intelligent. If you wish to see
courage in the presidential chair, conscience upon the bench,
intelligence of the highest order in Congress; if you expect public
men to be great enough to reflect honor upon the Republic, private
citizens must have the courage and the intelligence to elect, and
to sustain, such men. I have said, and I say it again, that never
while I live will I vote for any man to be President of the United
States, no matter if he does belong to my party, who has not won
his spurs on some field of intellectual conflict. We have had
enough mediocrity, enough policy, enough superstition, enough
prejudice, enough provincialism, and the time has come for the
American citizen to say: "Hereafter I will be represented by men
who are worthy, not only of the great Republic, but of the
Nineteenth Century."


Thomas W. Lawson-Friday the 13th

Thomas W. Lawson was a Boston stock manipulator who instructed his huge public following which stocks to buy and sell. His advice made him rich, but impoverished his public.
The first of his many mining fiascos was when he advised his public to invest in iron mines at Grand Rivers, Kentucky.  Shareholders lost their entire investment, although Lawson’s finances prospered.
Boston was the financial center of the American copper industry, and Lawson specialized in copper mining shares.
Lawson - Libr Cong LC-USZ62-7540503
A boom in copper-mining shares in the late 1800s made Lawson rich.  He became one of the most controversial financiers of the era.
Lawson always lived large. He built his fabulous Dreamworld estate in Sciutate, Massachusetts, with a water tower built to resemble a castle turret.
lawson water tower - Libr Cong
When Arizona copper magnate William Greene threatened to confront Lawson in person over a disagreement about Greene’s copper-mining company, newspapers predicted violence. A cartoonist used Paul Revere’s famous engraving of the Boston Massacre to poke fun at the situation.
Lawson convinced Standard Oil Company director Henry Rogers to create Amalgamated Copper, a holding company to monopolize the copper industry just as Standard Oil then monopolized the oil business. Shareholders leapt at the chance to buy Amalgamated Copper shares, but learned too late that Rogers and his associates were just selling shares at inflated prices.
Amalgamated Copper never monopolized the copper industry, but it did succeed in consolidating the fragmented copper-mining properties of Butte, Montana into an efficient operation under Anaconda Copper.
Lawson aired the dirty linen of his dealings with Henry Rogers in “Frenzied Finance,” a long series inEverybody’s Magazine.
When George Wharton Pepper was appointed receiver of the Bay State Gas Company, he sued the manipulators who had run the Boston utility into bankruptcy, including Thomas Lawson and Henry Rogers.  Lawson and Rogers gave conflicting court testimony, leading Lawson to break with his wealthy Standard Oil backers.  
lawson cartoon03
Lawson’s public feud with the “Standard Oil crowd” won him a reputation as a reformer. 
Here a Denver Postcartoon shows him battling an octopus with the head of John D. Rockefeller, even though John D. had had nothing to do with Bay State Gas, Amalgamated Copper, or Lawson’s other dealings with Henry Rogers.
Lawson was also adept at writing fiction (some said that large parts of his non-fiction were really fiction).  In his serialized novel “Friday the 13th,” he claimed that any stockbroker could cause the stock market to crash.
Lawson’s rival in the Boston financial district was Cardenio Flavius King, a transplanted southerner.
Like Lawson, King was a stock promoter with a large public following.
King used his newspaper, the Boston Tribune, to slam Lawson’s mining companies, such as Trinity Copper.
Lawson incorporated Trinity Copper, a mining property in northern California, and trumpeted shares as a great investment for small investors.  Despite Lawson’s publicity, Trinity remained a money-loser, and never paid a dividend.
Lawson’s stock predictions in Trinity Copper and other mining companies caused his public following to lose heavily in the stock market.
One of Lawson’s few predictions that turned out well for his followers was when he advised everyone to buy shares in the Chino Copper Company, formed to mine a deposit at Santa Rita, New Mexico. Chino Copper became a steady profit-maker for many years.
After he had helped drive Bay State Gas into bankruptcy, Lawson bought up the shares at low prices, then announced that he would use Bay State Gas to fight the money powers of Wall Street.