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What are your views on the impact of the re-election of George W. Bush?

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little c
 15 Oct '17  10:33 : 0 recs : edited 14 times : last edit 15 Oct '17  10:37

Was tricky Dicky as terrible as you claim. Slightly Optimistic? He was certainly something of a shock to the system! In this giant, prodigiously sourced and insightful biography, John A. Farrell shows how Richard Milhous Nixon was the nightmare of the age for many Americans, even as he won years of near-adulation from many others. One can only think of Donald Trump. Nixon appealed to lower- and  lower-middle-class whites from the heartland, whose hatred of the press and the east-coast elite, and feelings of having been short-changed and despised by snobs, held steady until their hero and champion unmistakably broke the law and had to resign his second-term presidency.

Richard Nixon won a smashing re-election in 1972, even as it was apparent that the White House was awash with skulduggery. His closest aides were caught, arrested and charged with breaking into the Watergate complex, where there were Democrat offices — though Farrell contends that Nixon gave no express orders for these and similar act

Other cronies hoped to discover embarrassing documents in the files of the psychiatrist treating Daniel Ellsberg, who had leaked the revealing Pentagon Papers, and preserved the infamous Oval Office tapes in which Nixon confided his darkest thoughts against his enemies. The president nearly got away with all of it. Farrell quotes Nixon as longing to be feared as a madman. The only two men he truckled to were Dwight Eisenhower, who used Nixon for his dirtier tricks, and Mao, to whom Nixon promised he would betray Taiwan.

Even when he was totally exposed as a villain, liar and schemer, he was able to resign from the White House and was pardoned by his vice-president rather than having to undergo the ordeal of impeachment and ignominious removal from office. And he lived on, wealthy, often admired, and conceding only gradually, in an evasive, self-justifying way, that some of the things he had done were unwise, careless, wrong and even possibly illegal.

Nonetheless, Farrell shows, the China breakthrough — until Nixon’s trip to see Mao in 1972, for the US Taiwan was China — and his promotion of school desegregation, were significant achievements. Without venturing too deeply into psychoanalysis, Farrell, a journalist who specialises in big biographies, argues convincingly that Nixon’s early years as a middle child with a violent father and an undemonstrative Quaker mother resulted in life-long self-doubt, vengefulness and the pursuit of power. He was always leery of the true love of his wife and daughters. He grew up in a small California town, attended the local college, went on to an almost first-rate law school, and then began his political climb towards the power he craved; but that was never enough because, of course, he really needed the love and affection he felt he had been cheated of as a child. This resulted in endless secret hatreds.

Although Martin Luther King admired Nixon for his public attitude towards ‘negroes’, the president confided to a friend: ‘Most of them are basically just out of the trees… I know they ain’t going to make it for 500 years.’ And although two of his closest allies were Jewish, most obviously Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s private attitude was: ‘Most Jews are disloyal…They turn on you.’ Then there was his screaming hatred for the Vietnamese: ‘I’ll destroy the goddam country. I mean destroy it. We will bomb the living bejeezus out of North Vietnam… I’ve got everybody scared. Go berserk. Worry them.’

It was the Cold War and the Red Scare that gave him his big push originally, and the attitude and tools for attacking others. He defeated a sitting congressman by falsely suggesting he had communist sympathies. Once in the Oval Office, he pursued the ultimate elite prey in the form of Alger Hiss, an actual communist spy — as lefties like myself could not admit for years. Now Ike’s vice-president, he could get close to, but not intimate with, senator Joseph McCarthy, whose anticommunist campaign ruined, or at least blackened, many lives. The senator’s ultimate disgrace did Nixon no harm, although, along with his glimmerings of financial jiggery-pokery and rough politics, it caused Eisenhower, who disliked mud and blood, almost to dump Nixon as his vice-president.

What saved Nixon — and how well I remember this — was his ability to invoke in speeches his humble origins, his wife’s simple cloth coat, and above all Checkers, the family dog he magically transformed into a public pet. His fans loved it.

They never knew how dark, scheming and hate-filled Nixon was, keeping in touch with his family with notes under their doors; sleeping separately from his wife (who longed for domestic life but increasingly longed, too, to become first lady); drinking too much; and spending time off with two vaguely disreputable ‘friends’ on their yachts in the Caribbean. Nor did they know about his madman language — in which he was encouraged by his closest staff, and most of all by Kissinger, the close associate who has somehow escaped obloquy.

It is astounding that Nixon got away with his many vile acts and actual crimes. But as Farrell points out near the end of his important and revealing biography, Nixon presaged a time, that would last for years, of CIA eavesdropping; and of the ‘Watch Lists’ with which the CIA, the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency scrutinised, disrupted and smeared public figures. These included Martin Luther King, Norman Mailer, John Steinbeck, Sammy Davis Jr and Hubert Humphrey. The CIA developed assassination plots. They targeted Castro and Patrice Lumumba, who were not killed; but in Saigon, President Ngo Dinh Diem was. All this, as Farrell acutely observes, ‘puts Watergate in a different context… part of a continuum, no sole breach of faith’. Were you sceptical about the Nixon shock of 1972, Slightly Optimistic?
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little c
 12 Oct '17  03:19 : 0 recs : edited 1 time : last edit 12 Oct '17  03:20

The Harvey Weinstein affair cannot be brushed aside as the culture of the casting couch. It is not one more story from the Hollywood fiction factory. It must not be allowed to be another tawdry milestone. It must be the watershed.

Harvey Weinstein has been one of the most prodigiously successful producers of his generation. He has made some exceptional pictures, from Pulp Fiction and The English Patient to The King’s Speech. He has won five best picture Oscars. But on Sunday he was summarily dismissed by the board of the company he had founded with his brother Bob. His sacking followed the New York Times’s ?reporting of the shocking claims of his predatory behaviour towards young women, of abusive conduct that revealed him less titan than tyrant, a man with a long and dark history of sexual harassment.

Three women accuse Weinstein of rape as Paltrow and Jolie allege sexual harassment.
The New York Times discovered evidence of payoffs and non-disclosure awards to injured women dating back decades. Its reporters found other women with humiliating tales of intimidation and harassment that are still snowballing. Now the New Yorker has added another chapter, including allegations of rape, to the humiliations and honeytraps, complicity and intimidation. It is an anatomy of how such abuse succeeds, and why it endures for so long. Flattering and demeaning, the producer played on the fear and shame that ensured his victims’ silence. The women describe in agonising detail his refusal to accept their protests, the overwhelming burden of personal responsibility that followed, coloured sometimes by a parallel awe of his filmic talents. They feared his power to break them as well as make them. The New Yorker describes charges that were unaccountably dropped and stories suppressed. Employees, enlisted to help him entrap his victims, report an atmosphere that was morally compromised. His exposure is seemingly the culmination of a lifetime of cruel personal gratification at the expense of vulnerable women that was known about and ignored by scores of industry people. Mr Weinstein has expressed regret for his behaviour but also says he denies some of the allegations.

The hasty sacking of Mr Weinstein was more than a calculated exercise in damage limitation by the directors of a company terrified by the impact of such bad publicity on the bottom line. This time, something is different. It is not by chance that this story emerged now. A cultural shift is under way.The extent of such abuse has become a theme of US corporate and political life over the past 15 months. It is a kind of descant to the bassline of the conduct of the US president, a candidate who won the election despite a stack of sexual harassment allegations against him. Yet at the same time, Donald Trump’s cheerleaders at Fox News reluctantly fired first his key ally Roger Ailes, and then the presenter Bill O’Reilly, after it emerged there had been payouts of millions of dollars to women they had harassed. This June, the Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick, resigned under pressure from investors, alarmed at the mounting reports of the extent of sexual harassment embedded in the company culture. Women everywhere in Silicon Valley, including very senior executives, have begun to talk more openly about the way they are treated by male colleagues and business acquaintances.

And now there is Harvey Weinstein, a man who now seen to be as grotesquely brutal to women as he is brilliant at producing films. He was at the heart of a company of which he was the heroic despot, a god with a degree of licence that served to reinforce the sense of entitlement that is the hallmark of the sexual predator. His is a very public disgrace. Yet the clarity of these accounts of abuse, and the contours of the emotional as well as the physical wreckage left in their wake are familiar to every victim. It is a horror story that should be made a compulsory study for every school leaver. This is what sexual exploitation looks like. It is never acceptable, Porn'!
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little c
 10 Oct '17  05:42 : 0 recs

Is Panama in North or Central America?
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little c
 08 Oct '17  13:22 : 0 recs

It's all they've got!
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little c
 06 Oct '17  16:17 : 0 recs

Have you ever been to Korea, LB?
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Lord Byron
 06 Oct '17  15:51 : 1 rec

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-06/north-korea-planning-test-fire-missile-capable-reaching-us-west-coast-stocks-slide
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little c
 03 Oct '17  15:39 : 0 recs

Would you rather have less liberal laws, Gorgeous George Sore Ass? Why?
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George Sore Ass
 03 Oct '17  08:55 : 0 recs

What I cannot understand is that they already have laws to prevent people buying fully automatic weapons. So the whole argument that they cannot restrict guns is clearly horsesh1t. You can't buy a nuke or a fighter jet with air-to-ground missiles, or walk around town with a rocket launcher.

The argument that having guns keeps you safe from the government is clearly bunk, because the people can own semi-automatic assault rifles (and then attach some gizmo to make it shoot faster) while the government has fully automatic assault rifes, rocket launchers, flame throwers, tanks, stealth bombers, nukes, etc. as well as pervasive surveillance and spy satellites and god knows what else. Your saturday night special isn't going to save you from oppressive government.

I saw one of the guys from one of the bands has posted on twitter saying that despite being a vocal 2nd amendment supporter all his life, he now backs gun control, because despite various people in their crew having guns and concealed carry licenses, there is nothing you can do against a guy with 10 assault rifles on the 32 floor with your handguns, and nobody has any business having those kinds of guns.

What they should do is limit guns to the basic specs of what a gun was when the constitutional amendment was passed. Single shot, reload takes at least 10 seconds, maybe more. People can still go hunting for deer etc. but they can't mow down dozens of people in a public place.

You just know if this was ISIS, the yanks would be blaming it on islam and insisting they ban muslims. Now it's a white guy doing the shooting, you can't ban those, and you can't ban guns, so there will be some hand wringing about mental illness and the need for better advanced screening. But ultimately, men with guns going around mindlessly killing people has been part of the american dream since the days of the wildwest, and as long as it's good old fashioned christian white boys flipping out and mowing people down, it's all good.

Those four ISIS guys in London killed, what, 7 people before the cops shot them all down. This one guy slaughters 50 odd. And you just know by next week, the yanks on facebook threads will be back to saying over here in Europe we're allowing muslims to rape and kill us with impunity because of our nutty liberal laws. You just cannot reason with stupid unfortunately.
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little c
 03 Oct '17  08:24 : 0 recs

Is this useful advice, Lord Byron?
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Lord Byron
 03 Oct '17  07:21 : 0 recs

Oxfam can advise on millions who starve to death every year.
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Warren BuffetCar
 02 Oct '17  17:37 : 0 recs

Here's another one to add to the body count

15 year old shot dead when family mistake him for intruder

Detectives believe that the teen was in the process of sneaking in or out of the house when a family member heard noises and woke up. Police said the family member then confronted the teen and fired shots.

Worth a Darwin award I'd say.

WBC
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Warren BuffetCar
 02 Oct '17  14:07 : 0 recs : edited 1 time : last edit 02 Oct '17  14:09

Another day, another mass shooting in the USA.

Its not "terrorism" of course, because the shooter is white.

Nevada has some of the slackest gun laws in the USA. According to the NRA and Trumpsters, this should make it very safe. Yet a guy with 10 guns, including automatic weapons is able to murder more than 50 people, and injure dozens more.

Meanwhile people are calling their elected representatives and demanding they do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about it, and instead focus on all those islamists and mexicans.

What a thoroughly f*cked up place.

WBC
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little c
 29 Sep '17  01:27 : 0 recs

Good morning to everyone reading 'Serious Topics', 'The Third' and all other social media online today! I trust that all is well with all of you. 'The Financial Times' leads today with some editorial comment on Republicans’ simplicity without substance on tax.

The FT takes the view that cutting rates, by itself, is not reform. The base also has to expand, Lord Byron, but how?
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George Sore Ass
 27 Sep '17  09:13 : 0 recs

US imposes 219% tariff on Bombardier planes, whose wings are made in Northern Ireland

Well, May says she's going to do her best to protect those jobs. Trump and his putinist pals promised to look after the UK after brexit, with a mega trade deal. Maybe time to test the water and see how much help the US is willing to help her?

I'm suspecting it'll be slightly less than f8ck all.
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little c
 26 Sep '17  03:29 : 0 recs

It has already happened, Big C!
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little c
 22 Sep '17  12:11 : 0 recs

Give me a nanosecond!
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Lord Byron
 22 Sep '17  11:57 : 0 recs

How fast can you leave london ?
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little c
 17 Sep '17  19:33 : 1 rec

Do you believe this particular news' story, Lord Byron?
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Lord Byron
 17 Sep '17  19:28 : 0 recs

http://yournewswire.com/cia-shadow-government-washington/amp/
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little c
 17 Sep '17  03:02 : 0 recs

Good morning to everyone reading 'Serious Topics'? I trust that all is well with all of you today. So what really are your views on the impact of the re-election of George W. Bush? What about President Obama? How about President Trump? You could ask 'The Third' instead, Porn'?

ProBoards - The Third - Salutations - The Americas
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