The Power of Free, Self-Selected Reading

Is The National Archives Biased?

The National Archives helps oversee Presidential Libraries. Is there a clear bias in favor of Democratic Presidents?

Has the FDR Library been asked to be honest by including exhibits about putting a Klansman on the Supreme Court? Opposition to federal anti-lynching laws? Is there a close examination of his Solid South strategy?

Has the JFK Library been asked to be honest by including exhibits about his role in the assassination of President Diem? Or what about the possibly stolen election of 1960?

Has the LBJ Library been asked to be honest by including exhibits about his wiretapping of enemies? Using the CIA and FBI to gather information on enemies? Actually wiretapping the plane of an opponent in a Presidential election?

I could go on but you get the point. I am a member of libraries of Presidents of both parties and I see bias.

New Nixon Library Opens Tomorrow!

I just happened to be online when I got an alert for a live video event from ABC News. It was a preview of the new Nixon Library! There are almost seventy new exhibits and a lot of interactive features.  Chris Cox gave a brief tour that lasted about 30 minutes or so. It really looks good.

Many achievements of the administration (formerly ignored) are now included in the library.  I have to admit I got chills when Chris Cox told the viewers that Richard Nixon got more votes than any candidate in history- looking at all national tickets.  Nixon was on more national tickets than any GOP candidate in history and is tied with FDR overall. Of course FDR was not subject to any term limits.

I really hope that new generations of historians will stop the crime against history that has been perpetuated for fifty years. Nixon has been slandered more than any President in history yet he accomplished more than all but FDR.

I hope for an expanded exhibit on his immense role in passing the Civil Rights Bill of 1957 as well as an exhibit on how he peacefully desegregated a majority of Southern schools. You just do not hear about these things and it is a crime.  We owe future generations a lot better.

Golda Meir: Nixon is “My President”

President Nixon took bold action during the 1973 Yom Kippur War to save Israel and realign the Middle East in a move that would lead to the Camp David Accords at the end of the decade. Egypt would be pulled out of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviets were thwarted in their attempt at regional domination. Nixon used a nuclear alert- echoing what President Eisenhower had done in the 1950s to stop the Russians. The airlift ordered by President Nixon was brilliant.

The Prime Minister of Israel would forever call President Nixon, “My President.”

A Nobel Peace Prize for Nixon

President Nixon deserves nomination for a Nobel Prize. In January 1969 he entered the White House knowing LBJ left him with almost 540,000 troops in Vietnam.

By the end of 1972 all of our combat troops and POWs were either home or on their way home. This was a remarkable feat. The class of 1973 would be the first in decades not subject to the draft- which was ended.  The Class of 1973 would be the first in twelve years to graduate at a time when we were not at war in Vietnam.

There is a popular slander in media and some academia that we could have gotten the same deal in 1968 or 1969 that we got in 1972. This idea does not hold up to the most basic level of scrutiny. Negotiator Winston Lord pointed out that the NVA did not back down from long held demands until after heavy bombings in late 1972.

Former Vice President Hubert Humphrey called President Nixon to tell him that his own boss – LBJ- could never have gotten the deal Nixon got.

Our ally- South Vietnam – was weary. President Kennedy sat by while President Diem was executed. LBJ floated the fantasy idea of potential peace talks in 1968 but when President Thieu found out HE was on the menu like President Diem had been- he wanted no part in any talks.

By 1969 our long term reputation around the world was on the line. Cut and run was never an option. There was no talk of a secret plan- that was media fiction. Peace with honor was the plan from day one.

Shortly after taking office, President Nixon lowered the troop ceiling. In response to the NVA violating the neutrality of Cambodia- the President took action there to save American lives and repel communist aggression.

Had Nixon still been in office when the NVA broke the peace deal he said he would have kept our agreement to help our ally and bomb the North back to Hanoi. He said impeachment be damned.

Sadly, the feckless congress refused to act and keep our agreements. Millions died and some dominos fell.

This Nobel is for you Mr. President. You earned it.



October 19th, 1971- Forgotten Milestone: Nixon’s Bold Move

I am hoping the National Cancer Institute can get Congress to pass a resolution of thanks to President Nixon. October 19th marks the 45th anniversary of President Nixon going to Fort Detrick to announce it would be converted from a biological warfare facility to a facility for cancer research.

How did we get to this remarkable event in the history of human peace and health?

In November of 1969, President Nixon prohibited offensive biological research in the United States. Fort Detrick continued defensive research focusing on treatment and public health issues. In January of 1971, the President requested an additional $100 million in the budget to find a cure for cancer. This became a national goal to save lives.

A few months after making the conversion announcement at Fort Detrick, President Nixon signed his National Cancer Act into law. The President said…

“I hope in the years ahead we will look back on this action today as the most significant action taken during my Administration.”

In 2005, the former director of the NCI  Doctor Vincent DeVita noted that the morbidity rate from cancer- comparing 1971 to 2005 – was like “night and day.” (See:  Haran C. Vince DeVita: the view from the top. Cancer World June–July 2005;38–43.)

Everything we have today can be traced back to a bold initiative to save lives- by President Nixon. We owe him eternal thanks.  I just hope we don’t forget what he did.


nixon-detrickPresident Nixon at Fort Detrick in 1971

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.


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