April 24, 2006

US Senate (OH) Polls From Nowhere: Put Up or SHUT UP

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:56 pm

Try to keep from falling out of your chair when you see these supposed April poll results being spread through the underground as if they’re Gospel:

DeWine – 40%, Smith – 29%, Pierce 10%, Undec. 21%

It gets funnier — the same people spreading the underground poll results claim that David Smith’s percentage has doubled in the past week!

Funnier still — in early March, Smith’s underground poll percentage was 17%.

Now for the beyond bizarre — supposedly in early January, barely after the candidates had declared, there was supposedly a poll that showed Smith at 29%! (of what, the people in his family?)

I’m frankly sick and bleeping tired of hearing this unsupported crap that some less-than-informed observers are taking as holy writ.

People, if this were true, and supported, the Smith campaign would be running to the big papers in Ohio trumpeting these results. They would be pestering the center-right blogospere endlessly with the data AND the specifics…… But they’re not. There is not one link, one piece of paper, one ANYTHING relating to these “polls” that I have seen anywhere.

Why? Because I believe it’s all totally bogus, cooked up, and designed to trick the unwary into believing support that doesn’t exist is there.

So prove me wrong.

Y’all have until 6 PM Wednesday, i.e., 48 hours from now, to PROVE at the detailed level that these polls exist (that would be the two April “polls” and the one from March — I’ll give you free pass on January’s, because no one with a brain believes THAT one). I want links and/or documents, enough to be able to prove that they’re scientific, that they’re credible, and that people can analyze their validity and methodology like the ones in the Second District Congressional Race, the governor’s race, and many others have been.

Otherwise at 6:01 p.m. Wednesday, those polls will officially be declared rubbish, and y’all get to officially SHUT UP about them. And I’ll get to remind everyone for the last 5-1/2 days until the election how utterly dishonest and deceptive all of you trumpeting these polls from nowhere have been (and those who have ignorantly been relying on them get to evaluate the integrity or lack thereof of the “poll” providers).

And if these “polls” really do end up being totally unsupported garbage, I want to find out where they are getting their start and WHO is spreading the manure around, especially if it’s a place (as I expect) other than a polling company.

The clock is ticking. Only comments that relate to answering the request in this post will be allowed through (if you think I’m going to let hecklers try to build on what is from all appearances a pack of lies, you ARE out of your mind).

PunditReview.com’s Pierce Interview Is UP!


Thanks to Kevin and Gregg for conducting the interview and for their part in engineering what will be next week’s stunning GOP Senate Primary result here in Ohio.

Bill Pierce (site; blog; contribute) had some especially pointed things to say about immigration, the judiciary, and out-of-control spending, and Mike DeWine’s active and passive involvement in the wrong direct we are heading in all three areas.

He also got in some good licks about how poorly the Senate GOP primary has been covered (as in almost not at all) by Old Media, and how blogs have to some extent picked up the slack by doing the job Old Media has (with some notable recent exceptions) mostly stopped doing.

Note: I have endorsed Bill Pierce for Senate, and have provided nominal financial support for his campaign. BizzyBlog is a member of Blogs for Pierce.

Pierce Bumper

Michelle Malkin’s New Web Initiative Is Very Cool

….. and the video subject matter at Hot Air on its opening day will be largely familiar to those who know of BizzyBlog’s Internet Wall of Shame and periodically visit the incomparable RConversation.

You go girl!

Pierce-ing Posts (042406)

This is the first of daily “Pierce-ing Posts” that will continue until Primary Election Day.

Pierce-ing Posts will sample current blog posts both in and out of the S.O.B. Alliance, occasionally go to Old Media coverage, and bring important prior posts to the attention of late-comers to Ohio’s US Senate contest.

So, let’s go. And don’t forget to visit Bill’s site, his blog, and his Contribute page.


Rush Limbaugh “Radio Star” Speaks Out

Justin at Right on the Right is the teen blogger who had the good fortune to call into Rush’s show late last year and to get about 20 minutes of priceless air time with the Great One. He has consistently demonstrated that he’s up on the issues more than most adults, let alone kids, and that he understands what’s at stake.

His Rush call obviously did wonders for his blog’s traffic, and explains why we’re especially thrilled that he has interviewed and is backing Bill Pierce:

A lot of Republicans don’t know some of the facts, like the fact that Pierce has flat-out bested DeWine in some county-wide endorsement votes. ….. American needs more citizen legislators, as opposed to career politicians. Our nation needs more people like William Pierce.

Bill Pierce: It’s About Service

Mark at Weapons of Mass Discussion has had about half-dozen outstanding Pierce-ing posts of his own during the course of the campaign. One of his latest draws a sharp line between Bill Pierce and Mike DeWine (links within the post added by me):

When was the last time Mike DeWine visited your town or county? When was the last time he actually campaigned in Ohio? According to my sources, it was during the Miami County endorsement, when he used his time to speak before the voters to let a barbershop quartet sing patriotic songs. Where is the substance? Where is the concern? I thought Mike DeWine was “one of us.”

….. Bill Pierce is reminiscient of our Founders. He wants to go to Washington, serve the country, and get out. He wants to actually listen to the people of Ohio, and reflect THEIR values back to the nation, to represent us ……

He did as many of our Founders did, becoming an entrepeneur and starting a business. He served his clients and employees well, and paid for it. Undaunted, this man, in the face of personal struggle, decided to serve our nation by becoming a teacher, to help youth understand mathematics.

Bill Pierce has what many of our Founders had, which is so lacking in our leaders today: a servant’s heart. He wants to serve the people, to help them. It is not about getting the contacts to be a good lobbyist. It is not about photo ops and getting power and influence. To Bill Pierce, it is about doing the job and doing it well, then going back home to Ohio.

Read the whole thing.


DDN Piece Illustrates Obsession with Money

Friday’s story on the money situation in various Ohio races indicates that Mike DeWine has a war chest of about $5.2 million. I’m confident that Bill Pierce and the other challenger both have less than 0.2% of that. So? Paul Hackett showed in the Second District last summer (though in an otherwise fundamentally dishonest campaign) that money isn’t what turns the tide, especially in low-turnout races.

I hereby volunteer to help Mr. DeWine count all the money he has on May 3, because I’m hoping at that point that he won’t need to spend it. I’ll even consider recommending a good investment advisor if he is allowed to keep part or all of it, which I understand is indeed (outrageously) the case. :–>


December 2005 — Mike DeWine’s Last Straw ANWR Betrayal Gets the Blogosphere in Gear

In late December, about six weeks after the S.O.B. Alliance’s initial meeting with Bill, Mike DeWine set off a firestorm of blog reaction to his vote to yet again reject drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge:

  • That was the tipping point for soon-to-be and now-active Alliance member Steve Kelso at A Face Made 4 Radio, as he endorsed Pierce virtually on the spot:

    I have had enough of Sen. Mike DeWine. DeWine’s latest idiotic decision is to come out against America’s energy independence.

    ….. When I saw that William Pierce was going to challenge DeWine for US Senate I knew that I was going to have to make a choice. For that is exactly what Mr. Pierce offers — a choice (not an echo, as the old saying goes.

    ….. Mr. Pierce is right — the time for change is now. We need a senator that will keep himself firmly rooted in Ohio and will be receptive to out needs. Mr. DeWine has gone native. D.C. native.

    For these reasons and many more, I heartily endorse William G. Pierce for the US Senate.

  • NixGuy also endorsed:

    Ohio is at core a Republican state structurally now and any GOP nominee will be favored to win against any random Democratic nominee. A stand up guy like Mr. Pierce can easily win election to the senate. This is not Rhode Island or even Pennsylvania where we have to put up with a certain amount of liberal foolishness in order to keep the Democrats at bay. Ohio has been trending Republican for 15 years now. We don’t have to put up with DeWine foolishness nor should we. Bill Pierce for Senate!

  • Megablogger Hugh Hewitt, known in some S.O.B. quarters as Blew Blewitt, illustrated the hurdles any challenger faces when he criticized DeWine in the strongest terms but wouldn’t do the right thing and pull his support:

    Senator DeWine of my home state is no Lincoln Chafee. He gets most big votes right, though today he stumbled badly. There is no coeherent argument against exploration in ANWR, so Senator DeWine enters a difficult re-election year branded as the only GOP senator as light in the thinking department as Lincoln Chafee. It isn’t an enviable place to be. If DeWine helps Judge Alito, though, all will be forgiven, though not forgotten.

    As I said at the time (go to Update 3 at the post), “Speak for yourself, Hugh.” Bill Pierce understands why Alito’s not enough, and explaining Thursday night why the “Gang of 14″ deal is unacceptable, and decrying the lasting damage it may do to our constitutional form of government.

  • Large Bill also rendered his large endorsement:

    Bill Pierce for Senate — William Pierce, a businessman and school teacher, has announced his intention to challenge Sen. DeWine in next years Republican senatorial primary. Even though I’ve been less than thrilled with DeWine, I normally wouldn’t comment on the primary challenge because I understand how difficult it is to unseat an incumbent senator. However, DeWine’s latest ill advised votes have convinced me that I could not hold my nose and vote for him next year.

  • The reaction wasn’t limited to Ohio — Here’s Blanton at RedState.org: “It should not go unnoticed that there were a few Republicans who aided and abetted the Democrats a/k/a Friends of Osama. The Republican leadership and grassroots should punish the aiders and abetters. ….. Oh, and Mike DeWine, your days are numbered on Capitol Hill. Not. One. Dime.” And here’s Save the GOP: “The Ohio GOP is beyond screwed up. I thought we had it bad here in Pennsylvania, but having lived in both states I can safely say Ohio’s GOP is far worse, and that is hard to imagine. Is DeWine really this obtuse?”
  • Even the implacably liberal OH02 was surprised at DeWine’s tone-deaness.
  • Then-active Project Logic summed it up best when he said, “Senator Mike DeWine seems determined to turn the grassroots GOP against him. There are too many bloggers weighing in on his latest vote to mention them all, and I’ve not seen one of them make a positive comment.”


Note: I have endorsed Bill Pierce for Senate, and have provided nominal financial support for his campaign. BizzyBlog is a member of Blogs for Pierce.

Pierce Bumper

A Poster Suggestion for Homeless Bob McMercenary’s Campaign

Filed under: OH-02 US House — Tom @ 1:01 pm

BizzyBlog is always sympathetic to campaigns that are down on their luck.

Accordingly, as promised at the end of today’s earlier post about the McEwen campaign engaging in negative campaigning while the candidate claims not to be, I thought that the following poster might come in handy during the Homeless Bob McMercenary campaign’s final days:


Always glad to be of help. :–>

I Find the Arguments for Ensuring ‘Net Neutrality’ Compelling

Filed under: Corporate Outrage,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:01 am

A recent Washington Post article on the topic is here (HT to e-mailer Kevin).

This has been a difficult one to get my arms around, but I’m inclined to stick with what has been working.

Here’s my analogy:

Two factories that don’t compete against each other (i.e., they make different products) use the same amount of coal each month. For years, they’ve operated with the local power company in a state of “coal neutrality” — whoever picks up the phone first to buy whatever coal is available gets the coal at the market price.

Then the power company tells each factory that one or the other, but not both, can get their coal delivered on a priority basis, but only if they are willing to pay more for their coal.

How much more? Factory A concludes that from a business perspective, based on what it manufactures, that it’s worth it to pay about 10% more to avoid running out of coal. Factory B, because of the nature of their product, concludes that it would be worth it to pay more, but only 5% more. Factory A, outbidding Factory B in an auction, makes the deal and agrees to pay the power company 6% more.

Ah, but the power company soon realizes that it is in its best interest to help Factory A out, and, if necessary, even to the detriment of Factory B. First, any time the power company has a coal supply disruption of its own, it ships all of its available supply to Factory A, and leaves Factory B out in the cold. The power company also decides to make all of its daily deliveries to Factory A before its trucks deliver anything to Factory B. Thanks to these discriminatory problems, Factory B realizes that when supplies are plentiful, it has to build up a large stockpile of coal to deal with these disruptions, tying up its capital and increasing its cost structure.

The power company also concludes that it’s in its best interest to help Factory A grow, and actually works to finding additional buyers for Factory A’s products. Now Factory A is using even more coal at the higher price, while Factory B, saddled with a higher cost structure, either has to raise prices and reduce its business volume, or accept a lower level of profit. Taken to the extreme, Factory A could grow and prosper tremendously while Factory B could go out of business — all because of the abandonment of “coal neutrality.”

I’m thinking the idea behind Internet network neutrality, and the problems that arise if you get away from it, are similar. If Company A burns through 100 gigs of bandwidth a month, it should pay the same, and get the same level of service, as a 100-gig-using Company B. A telco, or a cable company, should not be able to go to Company A and promise it a higher level of speed or content delivery for more money if it means that Company B’s service will become degraded. The same incentives that the power company above had to degrade Factory B’s service would seem to be there for telcos to degrade Company B’s Internet service.

One of my key assumptions, of course, is that there is not a second power company or a second Internet Service Provider available. That was of course the case for years with utilities, and explains why they became regulated entities. The fear that Internet network neutrality will be compromised is being raised because recent consolidation in the telecom industry raises the real possibility that large parts of the country might have their Internet access running through a choke point controlled exclusively by one of the telcos or cable companies. If that is indeed the case, the chokepoint-holding entity could play the power game described above with its Internet Service providers, who in turn would have to do the same thing with their end users. So ultimately, a telecom might indeed have the pricing power that power companies in the old days might have had if they had not been regulated. Also, unlike Factory B, which was at least able to stockpile coal to protect against discrimination, a Company discriminated against on performance quality can’t stockpile bandwidth to protect itself. But like the coal scenario, the chokepoint-holding entity might be in a position to start picking business winners and losers for its own reasons yielding results that would differ from those achieved in market-based competition.

All of this explains why I’m in the net-neutrality camp. I’m open to counterarguments on this, of course, but it would seem that they’d better be pretty good ones.

I don’t see this as an issue of regulation as much as a I see it a matter of ensuring that everybody operates under the same set of rules and contraints. This concern is what brought about laws against price-fixing and price discrimination, neither of which I consider anti-capitalist, but in fact see as helping to ensure efficient markets.

UPDATE: Kevin, who got an advance view of the post, offered this –

It can be explained even more simply than that. Two business sit next to each other on the same highway. Company A pays to have a dedicated lane to enable customers to travel to it directly. The customers of Company A have a direct/fast lane to Company A. Company B’s customers must travel in the slower/shared lanes.

That’s very good, but Kevin forgets that as a CPA, it’s my job to make it more complicated. :–>

So here is what I would add to his very good analogy:

So the vendor being the owner of the highway who is charging either Company A or Company A’s customers extra for the speed. And of course Company B’s customers can’t butt in. Further, if Company A’s lanes get too crowded, Company A’s customers get to use Company B’s lane to get to Company A, and Company B’s customers just have to wait.

I Said I Wouldn’t Cover the McEwen Campaign….

Filed under: OH-02 US House — Tom @ 10:48 am

….. but that doesn’t mean I can’t link to this, about Bob McEwen’s apparent predecessor as an Eritrean lobbyist….. my oh my, it always seems to get back to this one guy, doesn’t it?

Someone else please connect the dots. Bob McEwen has worn me out.

UPDATE: Forgive me, but I can’t resist this reax — Considering that Abramoff’s firm appears to have been making $50,000 a month from Eritrea (which he considered a “bargain-basement” rate and a big discount from their “normal” $150,000), and that McEwen’s Advantage Associates did a deal for $15,000 a month, maybe the candidate deserves yet another nickname: Bargain-Basement Bob.

UPDATE 2: Just linking again — Bill Sloat at The Plain Dealer’s Cleveland Openers blog has links to 2005 and 2004 State Department reports on Eritrea, and they’re HTMLs (hooray). Sneak preview: They’re not complimentary, and their chronologies and descriptions of events are disturbing.

Bob McEwen Tells Lies. On the Radio. Stop the Presses.

Filed under: OH-02 US House — Tom @ 9:17 am

I received a comment yesterday from a “Brad.” He breathlessly recounted what he supposedly read in a Jean Schmidt deposition transcript about her allegedly exaggerated educational credentials, and (I suppose) expected me to let it go through uncritically.

Sorry, pal, that’s not how things work around here, especially since I e-mailed you at the address you submitted with your comment and have yet to hear a response. If you come out of the shadows, tell me who you are, and are willing to discuss what you have, maybe I can post a comment of this nature from you. But probably not, because of what’s in the rest of this post.

You see, “Brad,” as to your biggest worry, namely that the word about Jean Schmidt’s situation won’t get out, don’t bother your pretty little head about that — The McEwen campaign is doing a fine job of that for you.


Shooooooorly this must be a mistake.

That was my reaction when I was given a multi-colored flyer about Jean Schmidt by someone who will remain anonymous. One side says “Jean Schmidt didn’t tell the truth about her college degree — Would you hire her to work for you?” The other side is about how she has claimed to have earned two bachelor’s degrees when she has only earned one, and how that is somehow representative of “a pattern, whether it is false endorsements here in Ohio or false statements on the floor of the House in Washington. How do we know when she is telling the truth?” We unfortunately don’t get the benefit of finding out what the false House floor statements (plural) are, which is important, because I believe there is only one statement in dispute. But I digress.

First I figured, “Oh, COAST is up to its usual tricks.” Despite the fact that COAST gave $1,000 to the McEwen campaign on April 4, I’ve been told that COAST, its legal efforts, and the McEwen campaign are “totally separate” by none other than Mr. Invisible himself, McEwen Campaign Manager Ed Jenkins. Why would I question him?

And if I had any lingering doubts about the truth of that claimed separation, they should have been squashed like a bug last Thursday, when Bob McEwen has this exchange with Bill Cunningham as he, in Bill’s words, “faced the American people”:

McEwen: I have not engaged in any negative campaigning. Negative campaigning is when you attack the person and not the policy or the position. I have not done that, and you have seen who is the negative campaigner.
Cunningham: Well then who is bringing up this stuff about her education?
McEwen: Not me. Not me.
Cunningham: The Enquirer?
McEwen: Not me. I’ve only talked about the issues and the taxes and the concerns of what kind of representation we will have. And you know that Billy.

(You can hear this exchange near the end of the first McEwen segment at the Weapons of Mass Discussion post containing the interview’s audio links.)

There’s only one problem, and I am so not shocked to learn this: Look at the return address on the flyer (which had to have been produced by the time McEwen made his radio statement), and look who paid for it:


The proper catcall at this point is: Liar, liar, pants on fire.

(Those who know the story of the Passion and St. Peter in the Bible will understand it when I say that I half-expected a cock to crow when I heard the third “Not me.”)

So, let’s see:

  • The candidate is being investigated for vote fraud.
  • The candidate, a self-professed fundamentalist Christian, has, for a phenomenal fee, assisted an “underappreciated” dictator’s government (meaning that most people don’t understand how horrible the dictator is) — a government that has persecuted members of non-favored religions, including Christian ones.
  • The candidate has stated that he only wants to talk about “the issues,” but then designed and released a Zogby poll that asked about all of the supposed negatives that COAST has dredged up about Jean Schmidt’s education and endorsements.
  • Finally, the candidate says that he has not and will not engage in “negative campaigning.” He then defines “negative campaigning.” Now he has been caught red-handed doing exactly what he says he hasn’t been and won’t be doing.

Besides that, as McEwen said to Cunningham at the beginning of the interview, things are going great. (/sarcasm)

Are we at the last straw yet? Is there no end to the absurd and cynical farce that Homeless Bob’s McMercenary campaign has become?

(And if somebody tries to distinguish between what Bob McEwen says and does, and what his campaign says and does, or, I don’t know, says that COAST stole the McEwen’s campaign’s bulk mail permit, I may have to temporarily remove the internally policed PG rating from this site.)

There are a few things to expose and clear up before the Second District race is over, but in light of this above, it seems that leaving this morally bankrupt campaign alone for a few days is not only wise, but necessary for the preservation of sanity.

But in the spirit of charity, before going on McEwen campaign coverage hiatus, I will provide some early-afternoon assistance designed to give help to a desperate campaign struggling to get back on its feet in the final week before the primary. So, by all means, stay tuned.

UPDATE: I’m not posting the flyers myself because I don’t think a campaign that says it isn’t negatively campaigning should get any kind of distribution benefit from this post.

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ-Life Links (042406)

Free Links:

This is one of those mornings when there doesn’t seem to be much out there on the economy (yet–1st quarter GDP that will be released this week will change all that, and quickly). So this is one of those days where it’s good to be part of an alliance. Because of that, after the first item, you’ll seeing links to some outstanding posts from others in the State of Ohio Blogger Alliance during the past few days. There will be no noticeable dropoff in quality (in fact, there’s probably a pickup).

  • The IBM PC was introduced 25 years ago today. Apple’s reaction was “Welcome, IBM. Really.” 25 years later, Apple, though a very successful company in its own right, has the best operating system and well under 5% of the market. IBM sold its PC division to the Chinese last year. Earlier this year, Apple fired IBM as chip provider in favor of Intel. Welcome indeed.
  • Boring Made Dull points to a Washington Post article with a list of “underappreciated” dictators. Talk about serendipity — Wouldn’t you know it, president Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea, the favorite country Bob “McMercenary” McEwen, made the list.
  • Ohio Conservative has done a great review of National Review contributor Ramesh Ponnuru’s new book, Party of Death. Perhaps I’m naive, but I’m seeing very early signs that the Culture of Death may be loosening its grip on the Democratic Party, which has been so wounded for so many years by its doctrinaire support of abortion on demand and, more recently, the perception that it’s willing to slide merrily down the slippery slope that is euthanasia. There’s Bob Casey in Pennsylvania running for the Senate. One genuine contender in Ohio’s Second District Congressional race on the Democratic side is unabashedly prolife (Jeff Sinnard). In many areas, I believe the sky-is-falling rhetoric so characterstic of the “prochoice” supporters is mellowing. If the Supreme Court ever overturns Roe v. Wade, the position modifications by Democrats and prochoice Republicans in largely Catholic or religious districts will be very interesting to watch.
  • I’m sitting on about two dozen Kelo update links that I need to get around to, so until I do it’s nice to see soon-to-be member Brain Shavings linking to a George Will column on the eminent domain mess in Norwood, a close-in suburb of Cincinnati, where the tyrants have the upper hand.
  • Return of the Conservatives caught a great Toronto Sun piece by Rachel Marsden, who created a brief glossary of Liberal Langauge. Though the competition for best definition is fierce, here’s my fave: “Torture: Frat-party activities that occur on foreign soil, in the presence of U.S. military personnel. Murder, rape and violence perpetrated by communist regimes don’t count.”
  • A few days ago, S.O.B. pioneer Porkopolis looked at a Washington Post graphic about why gasoline costs what it does. Never forget that nationwide, the average take by the greedy hand of federal, state, and local governments is about 46 cents. A look at gasoline taxes on a state-by-state basis is shown at the last item at this December BizzyBlog post.

Positivity: The 50th Anniversary of Containerized Shipping

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Positivity — Tom @ 6:03 am

Boring topic? It shouldn’t be. What Malcolm McLean did almost 50 years ago revolutionized shipping and saved untold billions of dollars and even transformed retailing (bolds are mine):

Containerized shipping began with N.C. man 50 years ago

Associated Press Writer

Fifty years ago on April 26, a trucker from Maxton, N.C., ran an experiment here that forever altered international trade and the global economy.

While many scoffed, Malcolm McLean hired a crane to hoist 58 trailer-sized steel cargo boxes onto a Texas-bound freighter. It was an alternative to the then-ubiquitous “break-bulk” shipping, the costly, pilferage-prone method dramatized in the film “On The Waterfront.”

It was a revolutionary idea in shipping and a huge business risk for McLean.

He sold off the trucking firm it had taken him 20 years to build, in compliance with the era’s antitrust regulations. And he retrofitted an old oil tanker, the Ideal X, with a reinforced flat deck specially designed with grooves to secure the containers in place for the maiden voyage down the Eastern seaboard and into the Gulf of Mexico.

By the time the tanker docked at the Port of Houston six days later, McLean’s Sea-Land Services was taking orders to ship containers back north. Transoceanic shipping eventually followed, ushering in what observers call the biggest change in freight transport since steam engines replaced sails.

“There are few instances in history where innovation has had such a dramatic impact,” Anthony Coscia, chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said Friday. “Malcolm McLean gave birth to a way of moving goods around the world that promoted global economic development that has been very positive for New Jersey and the U.S. economy.”

Break-bulk, which is still used for true “bulk” commodities such as construction materials, involved armies of stevedores loading individual crates from a dock to a sling, which was then hoisted up and then down into a ship’s hold, to be unloaded and positioned there.

Now shipping everything from clothing to razor blades to electronics in secured metal containers is the norm. Breakage and theft have been dramatically curtailed, and average shipping costs have fallen from 15 percent of retail value to less than 1 percent. At the Port Authority’s New Jersey locations – ports Newark and Elizabeth – containerization accounts for 94 percent of the cargo, with break bulk about 1 percent; automobiles account for the remainder.

Over the years, that development set the foundation for big-box stores crammed with inexpensive items, allowing shopping to morph from necessity to entertainment. The advent of refrigerated containers meant no matter the season, grocers could offer fresh produce grown half a world away for reasonable prices.

“Products that couldn’t move because of the export packaging and damage and so forth move freely now throughout the world,” said Paul F. Richardson, a shipping consultant who worked side by side with McLean for Sea-Land’s first 20 years. “It was a huge breakthrough.”

McLean died in May 2001 at 87, two years after selling Sea-Land, then the world’s seventh-largest shipper, to Denmark’s Maersk for $800 million.

“I’m not sure if he graduated from high school, but he was brilliant,” Richardson said. “He could do compound math in his head. He wasn’t afraid of risk. In fact, I think he thrived on it.”

….. “It used to be if you took a ship with five cargo holds, it would take two shifts a day of up to 20 longshoremen for a week to unload it,” said Arthur Donovan, a former history professor at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Long Island, and co-author of “The Box That Changed The World.” Today, a comparable job would take about 10 hours with three or four container cranes, employing fewer than 20 workers, he said.

….. “It’s transformed retailing,” he added. “The big box experience is a product of containerization.”

Events commemorating the anniversary are scheduled at Port Elizabeth, N.J. on Tuesday and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. Thursday.