Monday, June 19, 2017

Watergate: The Sequel

Hello young 'uns. It's your old Uncle Randy back again with another story about life in these Unites States. It was the spring of '73. I was in my mid-20s and for some bizarre reason decided I needed to move out of the city and experience pastoral life. Big mistake. I found a rental house near the entrance to Shelby Forest State Park, about a half-mile down the roadway from Rev. Al Green. It got boring and lonely in a hurry. I had a little .22 caliber rifle out there and since there was nothing to do, I became such a good shot, I could shoot the "D" out of a Dr. Pepper can at thirty feet. I was also a member of a band that had a regular gig at the Admiral Benbow Inn by the airport. Curiously, they called their airport lounge the Club Car and insisted the band assume a railroad related name. We settled on the Breakmen in honor of the Singing Brakeman Jimmy Rodgers of Meridian, Mississippi, but we purposely misspelled it as an act of rebellion and because we enjoyed taking breaks. Five nights a week, I commuted from Shelby Forest to the airport and back. The Club Car was full of itinerant strangers and drunk, horny traveling salesmen. Once, after I had sung what I thought was a stellar version of a Dave Mason song, a slurring voice from the crowd shouted, "Hey twerp. Why don't you play something we might enjoy." I left the city to find some peace and I was catching hell instead. In truth, I was going crazy. Richard Nixon had been trying to kill me.

It was a weird time as well. The Vietnam War, the defining event of my generation, was winding down, after Nixon, and his fellow war criminal Henry Kissinger, screamed "bombs away" on the nations of Cambodia and Laos. In the vacuum created by the Americans, homicidal dictators emerged, ultimately causing millions of casualties. On March 29, the last American troops left Vietnam. The most divisive conflict since the Civil War had caused millions of people to take to the streets in massive anti-war protests, and in some cases, receive bloody repression from the police. Suddenly, this immoral war was over and everybody just quietly faded back into the woodwork and went about their business as if there were nothing more to say. South Africa had a Truth and Reconciliation Commission after Apartheid to expose the countries worst human rights abuses and restore confidence in their government. Everybody here just went fishing. We never reconciled our differences over the Vietnam War which is the bedrock of our divisions today. 

Nixon was the first president to intentionally polarize the nation for political purposes. The long-held rumor that Nixon caused the collapse of the 1968 Paris Peace Talks, telling agents of the South Vietnamese that they would get a better deal after his election, has been confirmed. Under his watch, an additional twenty thousand American soldiers and countless Vietnamese died, proving him to be a vile liar, a soulless gargoyle of paranoia, and a proven traitor. His reward was reelection by a landslide. But something happened on the way to the coronation. In June of 1972, five men were busted breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate Hotel, which opened a Pandora's Box of break-ins, thefts, illegal wiretapping, slush funds, cover-ups, incriminating private tapes, and a personal enemies list of the president's critics who were marked for retaliation by the IRS. It was the public that awakened and demanded an investigation. Televised hearings of the Senate Select Committee's investigation into Watergate and related matters began on May 17, 1973 and suddenly there was must-see TV and my tedious summer became fascinating. If you thought the OJ trial was riveting, you should have seen the Watergate Hearings. I watched the whole thing.

One week after the hearings began, a special prosecutor was named. Nixon fired him, only to have him replaced by an equally zealous seeker of truth. After a parade of despicable witnesses and two-hundred and fifty hours of testimony, the indictments began flying and the truth of Nixon's treachery was fully exposed. He was impeached on charges of obstructing justice, abuse of power, and interference with the impeachment process, and resigned in eternal disgrace to avoid being forcefully evicted from the White House. Anything beginning to sound familiar here? What took Nixon six years to self-immolate,  Donald Trump has accomplished in six months. You know the saying about those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. Trump is supremely ignorant of history and thus is as doomed as Nixon. Trump's blatant criminality is in legal hands now and subject to the law rather than the whims of Congress. The only question remaining is whether he'll fight it or quit. My money's on the latter. The Watergate affair caused forty government officials to either be indicted or sent to prison, including the Attorney General, Nixon's key advisors, and his legal counsel. Trump's in Nixon territory now. It will be a rerun of the 1973 summer of televised hearings and will get yuge ratings, better than "House of Cards." Appointed President Ford said, "Never again must Americans allow an arrogant, elite guard of political adolescents to bypass the regular party organization and dictate the terms of a national election." Get the popcorn ready. We're all fixin' to binge-watch a tyrant's comeuppance.

7 comments:

  1. I love your description of Nixon as gargoyle of paranoia. That one is rich indeed. I was working in downtown Dallas when Watergate unfolded. My boss, a Republican conservative, would strut around the office, smoking his pipe and making comments like, "Boy, old John Mitchell really told them last night..." Meanwhile, "Cassandra" (Martha Mitchell) howled in the DC back alleys like some kind of wounded banshee. It reminded me of Macbeth. I liked my job, but I hated having to put with the running daily commentary that supported Nixon. It was so deeply satisfying when it all came unglued. The feeling of relief was refreshing indeed. We were fortunate to have someone like the affable Gerald Ford take the helm. We do not have that luxury today, although any relief from the current chaos will be a blessing.

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  2. Want to place a bet on Trump's impeachment? Nixon was a criminal, but so have most of our presidents since Woodrow Wilson. Speaking of immoral wars, every revolution and war at least since the French Revolution has been an immoral war. The Global Oligarchs, who reside at the top of the global money/power pyramid, are ones who you should set your target upon. Geopolitics, which is controlled by the Oligarchy, holds the key to what is actually going on in the world. America has been the puppet of the Oligarchy for decades, and they pull the strings of both political parties...wise up. Speaking of using the IRS for political purposes, have you deliberately forgotten Obama's recent shenanigans? And, the bedrock of our divisions is not the Viet Nam War, which was contrived for the enrichment of the Oligarchy, is truth...which you should attempt to embody in your journalism. I don't believe that you are intentionally dishonest. You are just ignorant of some important facts, biased, and myopic. Want to be a true revolutionary? Tell the truth. 'In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act'.

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    1. Rather than dismissing you as an idiot which might be momentarily unfair, let's suspend disbelief and apply the benefit of the doubt for the moment.
      First off, anyone with such passionate rebukes doing so under anonymity is well. chicken shit to use a technical term. Mr. Haspel, regardless of whatever shortcomings may exist in his viewpoints, at least has the courage of his literary convictions by signing his name to them. Thus, your comments are suspect from the first sentence precisely because you don't. That being said, let's focus on the point of his article which is Donald Trump's presidency. It is not the Global Oligarchs, The Illuminati or the Shadow Government. Those 'targets" are mostly invisible so we can't waste precious space on how to spend time trying to take them out. Mr. Haspel's article is about the deafening parallels between the corrupt lunacy of Trump's time in office with the best equal in American history. Like it or not, neither you nor any of the rest of us mortals are privy to the Machiavellian
      dealings of the Global Oligarchs. If you had to write an article of equivalent length on that topic that is totally factual and steeped in "truth" you wouldn't get past the first sentence. Why? Because we will never know the truth about their dealings and only an idiot would be naive enough to think that they will ever be made a target. If i'm wrong. you write that article but only if you put your name on it.

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  3. Oooh! You are mean-spirited, discourteous, and perhaps one of Mr. Haspel's sycophants. I was merely pointing out that big money runs this world, and not politics which is mostly smoke and mirrors. Politicians are universally dishonest and double-dealing. They constitute a dog and pony show for the gullible while big money jerks everyone's strings. Forget the term 'Oligarchy'. That is merely a term for the real power. At least I am not bashing Democrats, or even Mr. Haspel for that matter. He is an excellent journalist, but he is a bit biased. He even admitted that he is a Yellow Dog Democrat. He gets points for that, because he is at least honest. Maybe you are angry because you feel that I attacked him. My aim was to suggest how he might have a broader appeal. My position is a pox on both political parties. You seem to put a lot of emphasis on the handle that one uses. So, this time I am going to use my real name, which is Tom Smith. Will that score some points with you? One more thing...learn some courtesy. Politics sucks, but diplomacy has a place within civil discourse. Are you one of those who throws firebombs and destroys property when you don't see eye to eye with someone with whom you disagree? The fact that you would call a respondent on this blog whose position you disagree with an idiot says a lot about your character. I believe that anyone who has some class would agree.

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  4. Alexander FlemingJune 23, 2017 at 3:23 AM

    You mean, you really aren't Jerry, Gerry?

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    1. Tom Smith is my new alter ego...and Jerry is the primary...not Gerry. Tom is much more even tempered and conciliatory. Both of us actually like Sput. In fact, we admire him and are concerned about his health and happiness, and also like and admire Melody. We are sincere in wishing that he were more balanced so as to appeal to a larger audience. One of our favorite bits of folk wisdom is that there are two sides to every story (or, issue), and then there is the truth. When one becomes overly fixated on one side of the story, he/she becomes imbalanced and unable to discern the truth of a given matter. Everyone is subject to this state of affairs, and it is something to keep in mind. Generally speaking, we are a bit right of center, but we have quite a few liberal inclinations as well. What some refer to as the political spectrum is actually a torus. Extreme right and extreme left, at some point, meet as totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is a bad thing whether it is politically right or left. In either case, tyranny ensues. And, we will always contend that big money ultimately runs the show. At the top of the money/power pyramid, you will find the super-capitalists who have fostered Marxism to eliminate the middle class which stands in the way of their goal of global conquest, leaving only themselves to rule the impoverished masses. Those who profess to be Marxists (or socialists) are in fact the useful idiots of these super-capitalists. It is the ultimate shell game. Both political parties serve as distractions and deal in short range inconsequentials...relative to the big picture which is global rule by the super-capitalist elites. This situation has been called a scientific dictatorship or a technocracy. Think of a high-tech global farm run by a relative few who control all of the resources with humanity functioning as their cattle. The cattle will receive the basic needs, health care, food, water, shelter, etc., but will all share poverty and misery. The end game is portrayed as a utopia, but will actually be a dystopia of absolute control...in colloquial terms a living hell. The Donkey/Elephant games are just an interesting side show while the global prison is being constructed all around us. One more thing...tell Richard to lighten up. He seems to be filled with anger that explodes at the slightest provocation. Whether he is consciously aware of it or not, he is crying out for help. Such anger is a cancer upon ones soul. When he becomes delivered from it, he will be much happier and more pleasant to engage in rational discourse with.

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  5. Political correctness, a.k.a., group think amounts to a form of indoctrination, and a step along the way to totalitarianism. It diminishes the individual and encourages 'herd consciousness' which is necessary for totalitarian control. One could call P.C. stage one in the inculcation of a totalitarian society. All people who value individual freedom should spit in the face of P.C. whenever it raises its ugly controlling head...but that takes courage which fewer and fewer people seem to have these days. Stand up to P.C. and someone may call you a disparaging name. Would you rather be free, or tolerate being called a name?

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