booksareenough

The Power of Free, Self-Selected Reading

Ike and Dick-they brought our boys home

The Eisenhower- Nixon ticket was elected in 1952 (in part) to get us out of Mr. Truman’s war. Within a few years our boys were coming home and an armistice was signed.

In January of 1969, Richard Nixon walked into the Oval Office knowing that President Johnson put 540,000 US troops into Vietnam.  President Thieu of South Vietnam rejected an attempt by LBJ to hand him over to the wolves in Hanoi.

President Nixon began the process of Vietnamization.Troop levels dropped each year and by the end of 1972 our men were either home or on the way home.  Nixon ended that war.

When the North broke the peace deal- after Nixon left office- he was asked what he would have done if still in office. Nixon remarked that he would have bombed them in order to keep our word to an ally (impeachment be damned. It was the right thing to do). Sadly the Congress refused to keep our promises and let millions be butchered as some dominoes fell.

So Ike and Dick, I salute you both.

 

Sept. 9th- Ignored Milestone in Civil Rights History

September 9th will come and go with  little – if any – notice in the media. Congress might be in session but I doubt anybody there will recognize the date. There should be a resolution in Congress and I hope someone reads this and makes that happen.

Why all the fuss? September 9th is not a big date in history is it? Well, September 9th, 1957 IS a big date in history- particularly Civil Rights history.

After a long a winding road- and after some brilliant moves by Vice President Richard Nixon- President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the first Civil Rights Bill since Reconstruction. Let me repeat that- since Reconstruction.

Why is this law ignored? Well there are a few reasons.

  1. It was a Republican Bill
  2. Richard Nixon played a key role in its passage
  3. LBJ tried to kill the bill and then weaken in when that failed

In short, the facts don’t fit the narrative of the media or court historians.

As the bill made its way through the Senate- Vice President Nixon made a ruling from the chair that the bill did not have to go through committee. The committee was headed by a segregationist in the Democratic Party.  The Senate upheld Vice President Nixon’s ruling- despite majority leader Lyndon Johnson’s NO vote. Johnson hoped the bill would die in committtee.

With the bill on the floor, Johnson worked hard to gut the bill of its strongest protections for African-Americans. He was successful in many ways. Despite gutting sections three and four that would have offered strong protections to Black voters- the bill passed.  And it was historic. A separate division was set up in the Department of Justice and a Civil Rights Commission was established. This bill marked the end of The Nadir- and in a sense- the Radical Republicans- were smiling from above. The Federal Government would- once again- take an active role in protecting the rights of African Americans.

Martin Luther King Jr. personally thanked Vice President Nixon.

The bill was not perfect but a necessary step forward that President Eisenhower knew he had to take. Vice President Nixon- an honorary member of the NAACP- was one of the leaders in the White House working on the bill.

Nixon would use this experience later as President as he started initiatives on Sickle Cell Anemia, and drug treatment. Most importantly – he would help desegregate a vast majority of Southern Public Schools using Cabinet Level Committees. Listen to George Schultz talk about this amazing feat and you will wonder why and how this can be ignored as well.

The idea of President Eisenhower as feckless on Civil Rights does not stand up to the evidence. He was a leader who used Vice President Nixon to carry the workload for 8 years. We owe it to history to tell this story and remember it correctly.

I urge Congress to pass a resolution of thanks to Ike and Dick for they did for the cause of Civil Rights.

 

 

The Ages of FDR and Nixon

I would argue that the first half of the 20th century was the Age of Roosevelt. Part of five national tickets, he created generational change that no other Democratic President did. 

I also agree with Senator Robert Dole that the second half of the 20th century will be known as the  Age of Nixon. Part of five national tickets, he created generational change that no other Republican did.

FDR  created economic reform and relief that can be felt today. Nixon fundamentally changed the nation and world through detente, ending the draft and Vietnam War for the US , leading the push for Civil Rights for 25 years and dedicating us to fight cancer and focus on drug treatment. 

Both had other accomplishments that created generational change but that is for a future  essay.

Sadly, while FDR has been lifted to Sainthood, Nixon is slandered and demonized from all sides.

I aim to correct the record and reverse the false narrative we have been poisoned with by both media and academia for over 60 years.

He Was Not a Crook. Historical Amnesia- Volume Four

The lies we are told. The stories the media never tell. The Villains we need.

One of the long-standing media and political myths concerns the press conference where President Nixon uttered the phrase “Well I am not a crook.”

The context of this comment was over taxes. What prompted the writing of this installment of “Historical Amnesia” was a recent New York Times opinion story about Donald Trump not releasing his tax returns. The opinion piece had a blaring headline that President Nixon was a crook. This slander has been perpetuated for decades.

During his first term, the President had the IRS do his taxes. There were no issues. On a later audit it was determined there were problems. The President paid the back taxes and penalties. He wrote a check for over $400,000.

This is not criminal activity. It happens to Americans all the time. When the IRS reverses itself and disallows deductions, you pay what you now owe.

The media, much of academia and many politicians perpetuate the “crook” lie for various reasons.

The lies we are told. The stories the media never tell. The Villains we need.

Comfortably Numb in Palm Beach Schools

Good reading teachers in Palm Beach- and across the state- are being told they must use certain computer programs. It does not matter how successful your students are without these programs. You must use them.  This is mind-numbing but common practice. Excellent teachers are berated into using programs they know are not good for kids.

Students are put on computer programs from an early age and it continues through middle school. Then- not surprisingly- these students end up in reading classes in high school where they are forced back into more computerized torture.

Instead of spending millions a year on computer programs- why not give each reading teacher $10,000 a year to buy kids books to read. There is not ONE skill that cannot be taught or acquired in a reading workshop model.

Leading reading researcher Dick Allington noted that for every 90 minute reading block- about 60 minutes should be used for kids reading whatever they want.

A large majority of time in school consists of sitting in front of a computer and answering questions.

In order to help kids and save lives- you must be very brave.

 

Stop Teaching the “I Have a Dream Speech.” Historical Amnesia- Volume Three

 

*The stories the media never tell

*The villains we need

Most Americans are familiar with the “I Have a Dream Speech” made my Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 during a march on Washington. It was, and still is, inspirational.

But what most Americans are unaware of is that this speech was essentially given seven years earlier by an honorary member of the NAACP- Vice President Richard Nixon.

On October 18 1956 VP Nixon spoke at the Alfred E. Smith Foundation Dinner. Here is an excerpt from the speech;

“Most of us will live to see the day when American boys and girls shall sit, side by side, at any school – public or private – with no regard paid to the color of their skin.”

And more?

“Race and religious hatred strike at the roots of that remarkable unity that is the achievement of our nation. For the survival of our highest ideals, we must eradicate them from the face of society.”

More?

“…we should all work to promote understanding, brotherhood and national unity.”

And one last excerpt;

“We know the moral cost – the quiet suffering of millions of our fellow men whose only crime was that they were different in race or religion or color from others in their communities.”

Why do we not focus on this six page speech given at the birth of the Civil Rights movement- just two years after the Brown decision?  I encourage all to read the entire speech. A copy is online at The King Center.

No, we should not stop teaching about the 1963 MLK speech. We SHOULD, learn the 1956 Nixon speech too. Nixon was the leading Civil Rights spokesperson in the Eisenhower Administration. Why will many not discuss it in media or high schools or colleges?

The stories the media never tell and the villains we need…
Writer’s note. This was a kickoff for a push to pass the first civil rights bill since Reconstruction. With Nixon as pointman- and despite attempts to kill the bill by Lyndon Johnson- it passed. But not before LBJ weakened it for political reasons.

 

Historical Amnesia- Volume Two

I am going to subtitle this series with some phrases I used in volume one.

*The lies we believe

*The stories the media never tell

*The villains we need

At the 1956 Republican National Convention, VP Nixon was nominated to serve another four years with General Eisenhower.  In his acceptance speech- Nixon spoke about Civil Rights goals and said;

  • The White House would work to ensure that “every negro has the opportunity to obtain proper housing, proper medical care and the unlimited ability to live as every American should live.”

What makes these remarks more potent is that shortly before the convention, the KKK had called for Nixon (and Ike) to be removed from office for hinting at integration. Democrats had defeated a Civil Rights Bill. Many Democrats signed the Dixie Manifesto- which called for open opposition to the 1954 Brown Decision.

VP Nixon emerged as the leading Civil Rights spokesperson in the government. The long slog had begun.

If you listen to many in media and academia- you hear LBJ and little else. I argue this is dishonest and perpetuates myths that damage each generation indoctrinated by them.

The lies we believe. The stories the media never tell. The villains we need.

 

 

Historical Amnesia- Volume One

The lies we choose to believe. The stories the media never tell. Many Americans were raised on the lie that Richard Nixon claimed to have a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam. That is what we have been told over and over again. Here is what happened.

From early on in 1968- former VP Nixon was clear that his goal in Vietnam was not to cut and run but to end the war with honor. One just need to view old commercials and read speeches to see this. Yet- the myth of a secret plan persists. This was pure media invention in 1968 and the myth persists today.

And now, the rest of the story…

During the presidential campaign of 1952 – Democratic Nominee Adlai Stevenson claimed to have a plan to end the Korean War but would not reveal it since it would alert the enemy. This makes some sense but it was a “secret plan.” The VP candidate for General Eisenhower was Richard Nixon- who challenged Stevenson to offer his plan if it would help our boys.

I bet you did not know that. You never see it in textbooks or media reports. Just as Ike and Nixon were elected – in part- to end the Korean War ( and they did), Nixon would end the Vietnam war at the end of his first term in 1972.

History can be a menagerie of agreed upon myths.

The lies we believe. The stories the media never tell. The villains we need.

Trump following the Humphrey/Wallace Playbook of 1968

The media and court historians will try to convince you that there was one law and order candidate in 1968. And they want you to think this is a bad thing. In fact – all three main candidates in 1968 ran (understandably) as law and order candidates.

The media and court historians want you to think Richard Nixon was somehow evil and racist for a law and order campaign. As I have mentioned in previous essays, America was burning in 1968 and our soldiers were dying in record numbers in Vietnam. 2016 is not 1968.

Here is what Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey said in August of 1968.

“I put it very bluntly. Rioting, sniping, mugging, traffic in narcotics and disregard for law are the advance guard of anarchy and they must and they will be stopped. But may I say most respectfully, particularly to some who have spoken before, the answer lies in reasoned, effective action by state, local and federal authority. The answer does not lie in an attack on our courts, our laws or our Attorney General. We do not want a police state, but we need a state of law and order. And neither mob violence nor police brutality have any place in America. And I pledge to use every resource that is available to the President to end for once and for all the fear that is in our cities.”

Here is what Democratic candidate George Wallace said in 1968.

“The first thing I would do as President is to make an announcement that I’d give my moral support as President to the policemen of this country and to the firemen of this country. I’d say, “We stand behind you because you are the thin line between complete anarchy  in the streets and the physical safety of our person.”

 

I covered much of Richard Nixon’s comments in my last essay. Here is an additional portion.

“When the nation with the greatest tradition of the rule of law is plagued by unprecedented lawlessness; When a nation that has been known for a century for equality of opportunity is torn by unprecedented racial violence; And when the President of the United States cannot travel abroad or to any major city at home without fear of a hostile demonstration — then it’s time for new leadership for the United States of America.”

The need to vilify and libel President Nixon by those not well read or those with an agenda – continues. 1968 was a law and order campaign by all –  along with Vietnam and other smaller issues.

The next time you hear someone libel President Nixon over 1968 or try to smear him by using the 2016 campaign – call them out. Bob Dole once remarked that the second half of the 20th century would be known as the “Age of Nixon.”  Well – not if the media and academia can help it.

America owes President Nixon an apology.

 

 

 

 

Nixon Inspires -Miami ’68 but Media Still Libels Him in ’16

By August of 1968 the US had exploded in violence over the Vietnam War and Civil Rights. With over 100 US cities on fire and 540,000 troops in Vietnam – things were spinning out of control. The need to bring the nation together and have order was the main goal of all three main Presidential candidates in 1968.  Democrat George Wallace was the most vocal law and order candidate but the media will not tell you that.

Just recently the media has compared the Trump convention with what they call the “Nixon law and order playbook.” The media wants you to infer something nefarious from this comparison. The media wants you to infer Nixon was playing on fears or using race. This is a libel I am always happy to confront.

Democrat George Corley Wallace was the candidate of fear and race in 1968.

Law and order was only one part of the Nixon campaign in 1968. Another part was ending the inherited war in Vietnam. Nixon never spoke of a secret plan. He promised an honorable peace – not cut and run. He would deliver on this promise.

You might think Mr. Nixon gave a divisive speech in August of 1968 in Miami. The media- many who never heard it or even read it later – are hoping you won’t look at it either.

Let’s see what Nixon did to heal and inspire the nation in 1968 by examining the acceptance speech. Below is an excerpt that captures the beauty of America and a vision for unity.

“As we look at America, we see cities enveloped in smoke and flame. We hear sirens in the night. We see Americans dying on distant battlefields abroad. We see Americans hating each other; fighting each other; killing each other at home. And as we see and hear these things, millions of Americans cry out in anguish. Did we come all this way for this? Did American boys die in Normandy, and Korea, and in Valley Forge for this? Listen to the answer to those questions. It is another voice. It is the quiet voice in the tumult and the shouting. It is the voice of the great majority of Americans, the forgotten Americans — the non-shouters; the non-demonstrators. They are not racists or sick; they are not guilty of the crime that plagues the land. They are black and they are white — they’re native born and foreign born — they’re young and they’re old. They work in America’s factories. They run America’s businesses. They serve in government. They provide most of the soldiers who died to keep us free. They give drive to the spirit of America. They give lift to the American Dream. They give steel to the backbone of America. They are good people, they are decent people; they work, and they save, and they pay their taxes, and they care. Like Theodore Roosevelt, they know that this country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless it is a good place for all of us to live in. This I say to you tonight is the real voice of America. In this year 1968, this is the message it will broadcast to America and to the world. Let’s never forget that despite her faults, America is a great nation. And America is great because her people are great.”

Nixon mentioned that the US should be a shining example for the world- a phrase Reagan would pick up on later. But there were no grandiose promises- just a promise to action- as FDR had done.

“And so tonight I do not promise the millennium in the morning. I don’t promise that we can eradicate poverty, and end discrimination, eliminate all danger of war in the space of four, or even eight years. But, I do promise action — a new policy for peace abroad; a new policy for peace and progress and justice at home.”

And finally this excerpt.

“Tonight, I see the face of a child. He lives in a great city. He is black. Or he is white. He is Mexican, Italian, Polish. None of that matters. What matters, he’s an American child. That child in that great city is more important than any politician’s promise. He is America. He is a poet. He is a scientist, he is a great teacher, he is a proud craftsman. He is everything we ever hoped to be and everything we dare to dream to be. He sleeps the sleep of childhood and he dreams the dreams of a child. And yet when he awakens, he awakens to a living nightmare of poverty, neglect and despair. He fails in school. He ends up on welfare. For him the American system is one that feeds his stomach and starves his soul. It breaks his heart. And in the end it may take his life on some distant battlefield. To millions of children in this rich land, this is their prospect of the future. But this is only part of what I see in America. I see another child tonight. He hears the train go by at night and he dreams of far away places where he’d like to go. It seems like an impossible dream. But he is helped on his journey through life. A father who had to go to work before he finished the sixth grade, sacrificed everything he had so that his sons could go to college. A gentle, Quaker mother, with a passionate concern for peace, quietly wept when he went to war but she understood why he had to go. A great teacher, a remarkable football coach, an inspirational minister encouraged him on his way. A courageous wife and loyal children stood by him in victory and also defeat. And in his chosen profession of politics, first there were scores, then hundreds, then thousands, and finally millions worked for his success. And tonight he stands before you — nominated for President of the United States of America. You can see why I believe so deeply in the American Dream.”

I encourage you to watch or read the entire speech. This is the man the media is trying to vilify- even today. The next time you see an attempt to smear President Nixon- don’t follow the court historians and kennel-fed media. For them- Nixon has to be the villian. A lot of folks owe Mr. Nixon an apology.

I say, “Nixon Now. More than Ever.”

 

 

 

 

 

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