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Thursday, March 19, 2009

 

Presidents Past

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"W", the movie

Watching Oliver Stone's film, "W" , about our 43rd president, G.W. Bush, brought back all the bad things he did for eight long years. The movie was limited in scope as to what could be depicted in a few hours and, therefore, concentrated on the Iraq war....the war for which we paid a heavy price in lives lost and money. We are still paying. President Obama appears to be in no hurry to get us out of there. To be fair, Obama inherited many problems and his main thrust is to revitalize the economy. Rightly so.

With their free-market policy and muzzling of regulations, Bush and the Republicans played a major role in encouraging the debacle in the financial sector and the current state of the economy. We must remember though that it was during the Clinton administration that banking laws were re-written to make things easy for questionable practices by lenders.....a primary reason for the crash of the housing market. Venal politicians exist among Democrats. Currently, they are busy blustering about AIG. Makes you wonder where were they when laws were passed to allow corporate entities to run amok. Think of campaign contributions and you get the feeling that our system is corrupt.

But watching "W" reinforced the impression that we elected a hollow man as president.....twice. So we deserved what he and his team of war hawks gave us.

August 8, 1974

Those of us who thought that Nixon was a bad president didn't have a clue about what was coming. I remembered listening to Nixon's resignation speech during a UAL flight from Chicago to San Francisco. An old lady in the sit next to me said "this calls for a drink". We ordered wine and lifted our glasses. But compared to G.W. Bush, Nixon was a giant.

Years of Lightning, Day of Drums

It was more than 45 years ago. Still the memory of where I was when I learned about JFK's assassination remains vivid. That was long before the advent of the world wide web and instant news flashes. Calcutta (Kolkata), India, on the morning of November 23, 1963, when I went to the front door to pick up the newspaper that I saw banner headline about the thirty-fifth president of the United States. A few years later I watched Bruce Herschensohn's documentary "Years of Lightning, Day of Drums" with background commentary by Gregory Peck about the 1000 days of the Kennedy Administration.

*****


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