Who is Billy Lee?

Dad me Bill at Naples beach 2014 (2)Billy Lee is a retired machine designer, Navy brat, former anti-Vietnam War activist, Francophile, math lover, Egyptology enthusiast, and MSU grad. He sometimes listens to Blues and occasionally enjoys a Culver’s fish sandwich.

Married to Beverly Mae, he is father to six adult children—three bio and three in-grafted—and granddad to thirteen grandkids.

Billy Lee is a Christian who loves Obama, Hillary, and the gay people.

billy lee dad me bill 2

Billy Lee was young once. Believe it.

Billy Lee is a lifelong pontificator who believes that civilization’s biggest problem is the lack of caps on private incomes. No-limits on private wealth—established in the 1980s by tax codes passed by and for our elites—tempt professionals to band together to loot corporations and public institutions. The prospect of unlimited money lures business owners to squeegee wages, so they can keep the excess for themselves.

Billy Lee believes the possession of excessive wealth by individuals anywhere in the world should be a felony enforced by international courts.

The Billy Lee Pontificator Editorial Board

Billy Lee George Washington John Trumbull painting

Billy Lee on Horseback, the famed 1780 oil-painting by John Trumbull, resides in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Note the inclusion of our first president, George Washington, standing in the foreground.

Post Script [added March 2016]: Some readers have noticed that Billy Lee shares his name with the much-admired manservant (slave) of our first president, George Washington.

Billy Lee was the only slave of the 277 owned by George and his wife Martha who the president freed in his will after he died in 1799.

Billy Lee was a renown equestrian and fox-hunter who, during Washington’s military campaigns, rode beside the General on a magnificent jumper named Chinkling—according to the memoirs of the president’s step-grandson, Custis.

A source has claimed that Custis’s memory was in error; Billy Lee in fact called his horse Clackling—after the sounds made by his steed as it pranced on the president’s paving-stone carriageway before a hunt.

In any event, the revolutionary officers and enlisted men who served General Washington treated the Negro freedom fighter and his horse Clackling with affection, admiration, and respect. The father of our country would have it no other way.

Some say that the famous Confederate General Robert E. Lee might have been a distant relative of Billy Lee; or it might be true that an ancestor of the South’s most beloved General owned Billy Lee before George Washington purchased the sixteen-year-old to serve as houseboy at his Mount Vernon estate. In those days slaves almost always took the last names of their original owners. 

In rare instances before the Civil War when a slave might be set free (called manumission), some—after their emancipation—changed their last names to disassociate themselves from their former masters. Sometimes they tacked on the name of a favorite horse or pet. Billy Lee may have done the same.

Today some of Billy Lee’s progeny are believed to be living in the Detroit area under such a name. At least two are believed by one researcher to have played professional football in the NFL.

Our own Pontificator’s father, US Navy Captain Bryce Lee (please take time to read Billy Lee’s poem, Warrior) was himself an accomplished equestrian and fox-hunter—just like the first president’s houseboy—though no evidence of a genetic-link to the president’s confidante and friend has yet been established. Research by a family genealogist continues. 

In 1780, portrait artist, John Trumbull, painted Billy Lee sitting on his horse with the first president standing absent-mindedly in the foreground. We included a photo of the famous oil-painting and links to articles about the two men for the convenience of readers who might want to know more.

Whatever the truth about any familial-connection, Billy Lee (the Pontificator) admires Billy Lee (the freed houseboy) and bears his name with pride and love. Billy Lee knows in his heart of hearts that Billy Lee is an unsung hero of our nation’s war against tyranny.

Due to the posthumous generosity of President George Washington, Billy Lee enjoyed his last years on the earth a free man—reunited in marriage with the woman he first loved and living large on one of America’s grandest estates; located at 3200 Mount Vernon Hwy, Mt Vernon, VA 22121. Click on the link and enter the name Billy Lee in the site’s search box to learn more.

The Editorial Board

8 Responses to Who is Billy Lee?

  1. Bev says:

    Oh, Bill!

  2. Deaf Geezer says:

    Lee… A name to live up to. One of the best men I have ever known who passed his high sense of honor to all his children.

  3. Billy Lee Billy Lee says:

    Semper Fi. Kind words indeed.

  4. Carol says:

    –so now you have 3 followers on your site—keep it lively, ok?!!

  5. Molly says:

    Bill,
    I’m interested in how your Dad reacted towards your anti-war activism. I totally went along with concept of the Domino Theory at the time, mostly because I admired my dad and was very pro-military. When I went off to college and was introduced to liberal viewpoints of our national foreign policy, I would come home on a visit and make my dad apoplectic when I spouted off some of the stuff I had heard or read in government and history classes. It took me years to realize all the mistakes we made in Vietnam and how devisive that war was. I never did ask my dad whether he thought Vietnam was a mistake. He was subjected to much protest because he was Professor of Naval Science at ISU from 1968 through 1971.

    One other question: How are you going to decide what is excessive salary? And how in the world could you make your restrictions world-wide? Just wondering.

    Molly

  6. Billy Lee Billy Lee says:

    Look for an upcoming blog on income inequality. In the meantime, I can say that I think the maximum income from all sources should be a multiple of the minimum wage. It would be set by law.

    Let’s say the multiple is set to 1,000. Then, if the minimum wage is $20,000 per year, the maximum income from all sources would be 1,000 times that or $20 million.

    In the same way, the maximum size of an estate would be set at some multiple of the maximum income. Let’s say the multiple is set by law at 20. Then the maximum size of an estate would be $400 million.

    Of course, concentrations of wealth are necessary for economic development. This is where public corporations come into play. Corporations would be made truly public and be regulated like public utilities.

    A problem with this idea is it should be international in scope to be effective, so it would involve a body like the United Nations and a world court. Another problem is that although it puts limits on only a few tens of thousands of people in the world, these are the people who actually run the world. So it might be hard to get them to go along. But we should try for reasons that will be explained in a future blog post.

    As for my Dad, I don’t remember him ever mentioning my activism to me. My anti-war activity never came up in conversation as far as I can remember. Maybe he thought if he ignored it, it would go away!

  7. Billy Lee Billy Lee says:

    The way to do it is through income and estate taxes. We did it after the Great Depression. The International part is important to protect our population from the overseas cartels. If we can get an international statute, then we can get a handle on things. Difficult, not necessarily impossible.

  8. Molly says:

    Your idea reminds me of the Beatles song “Imagine a World without Religion.”–it is not practical because it goes against human nature. The 1% Super Rich who run the world are not going to allow anybody to take their money from them. Just isn’t going to happen. Now, perhaps if you could coerce a majority of the super rich to share their wealth out of a sense of right and wrong, you could manage a more equitable distribution.

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