JFK's Centennial

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017 09:25 am
bradygirl_12: (jfk (sun))
This month is the Centennial Birthday of John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29th).

We celebrate a man who:

Pushed for aid to the elderly (which was passed as Medicare after his death).

Supported the Civil Rights Movement (reluctant at first, he worried that Southern Democrats blocking his programs in Congress would be even more combative but once he decided to support the movement, he was all in, making the first speech about civil rights from the Oval Office (June 11, 1963) and welcoming Martin Luther King, Jr., and the March On Washington organizers to the White House after a successful event on August 28, 1963).

After staring down into the nuclear abyss during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, he began to work toward a detente between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.

Oh, yeah, he saved the world from blowing up!

He gave a speech at American University on June 10, 1963, signaling his desire to start thawing relations with the Soviet Union.

He succeeded in pushing through the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty on August 5, 1963.

He quietly approved a NSAM memo (October 11, 1963) to withdraw American advisors from Vietnam to conclude by the end of 1965. Withdrawals began before his trip to Dallas. After his death, a subsequent NSAM memo reversed this policy. He gave an interview to Walter Cronkite on September 2, 1963 that said the Government would not withdraw, but no candidate for President in 1964 would ever admit otherwise. The memo showed his intent. During the interview, he also said that the war would have to be won by the Vietnamese. "It's their war." He wanted no part of American ground troops in Southeast Asia.

Constantly held off his own generals, who wanted to invade Cuba (Operation Northwoods was a plot to kill Americans and blame Cuba. JFK walked out of the meeting. Needless to say, he didn't approve the operation.). During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the generals wanted to attack the missile sites, very likely triggering a nuclear response from Russia. They also wanted to launch a pre-emptive strike against Moscow. JFK refused. The generals considered JFK 'soft on Communism'. Air Force General Curtis LeMay (satirized in Dr. Strangelove) despised JFK and his brother, too, openly voicing his contempt.

JFK did come to the Presidency as a Cold Warrior, but no candidate, either Democrat or Repuplican, could afford to be accused of being 'soft on Communism' in 1960. He gradually realized that it was too dangerous to continue the arms race, especially after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

He was a visionary who predicted we would send a man to the moon and bring him back safely before the decade was out. The first moon landing was July 20, 1969.

Some links:

https://www.jfklibrary.org/

http://jfkhyannismuseum.org/2017-jfk-100th-commemorative-birthday-year/
bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)
Today is the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I, the War To End All Wars. Ah, the naivete! But the Americans were desperately needed as the Europeans had been fighting for three years and the shell-shock cases were adding up.

And why wouldn't they be? As a soldier in World War I, trenchfoot was the least of your worries. You were stuck in a trench where you waited for the shell with your name on it, or you were ordered 'over-the-top' into No Man's Land, where you could expect to be cut down by the enemy's machine guns or shells.

You would experience the first tank warfare in modern war, and if an enemy soldier was lucky enough to survive No Man's Land, he could cook you with the first use of flamethrowers in war. But that wasn't even the worst of it! Mustard gas would sear your lungs and damage your skin, and other chemical weapons would just kill you instantly. A trench full of men would be dead in minutes after the first deadly clouds appeared.

All this for a few yards won and lost, and the reason for the war lost, too. The Americans saw their share of horrors, and the Meuse-Argonne was especially rigorous, a true baptism of fire. The Americans who survived the war went home with physical injuries and mental and emotional scars that contemporary medicine was ill-equipped to handle.

World War II was much more spread out over the globe and certainly had its share of horrors, but World War I is almost claustrophobic as conducted, and was a psychic shock as the Utopian optimism of the new century was irrevocably shattered on fields of nightmares.
bradygirl_12: (Default)
Just a little something I came across while doing some research on YouTube:



Remember, LBJ was possibly involved in another conspiracy, the Gulf of Tonkin Incidens. This fraudulent incident gave him the power (handed to him by a spooked Congress) to start sending thousands of combat troops to Vietnam.

BTW, a National Security Action Memo issued by JFK on October 11, 1963, approved of the withdrawal of 1,000 American military advisers by the end of 1963, with gradual complete withdrawal. Four days after his death, a new NSAM (273) approved that policy, with embedded policyspeak added that did signal a change on withdrawal.
bradygirl_12: (jfk (flag))
Interesting factoid: Four Presidents (3 future) were in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

JFK and LBJ.

Richard Nixon.

George H.W. Bush.

Wow, what are the odds?

Nixon had attended a conference of the Pepsi-Cola Company representing his law firm for the client. After his defeat for Governor of California in 1962 ("You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore!") he had returned to private practice. He flew out of Love Field a few hours before Kennedy flew in.

Bush spoke to a meeting of the American Association of Oil Drilling Contractors at the Sheraton Hotel on the evening of November 21, 1963.

Both Nixon and Bush couldn't remember where they were when they heard the news of JFK's shooting, the only two adults of their generation with such memory problems. Nixon finally recalled where he was, but he told two different stories. Bush didn't remember for 30 years, and he said he was in Tyler, Texas, though Barbara Bush's own memoir contradicts him. He was also an active member of the CIA at the time.
bradygirl_12: (beaker (close-up))
The smoke wasn't even dissipated from the protests in Washington yet when the official White House website had taken down content on issues of civil rights, health care, and LGBTQ rights, but found space to shill Melania Trump's jewelry collection and mentioned it was available on QVC. It's now been edited to delete the QVC reference.

Will Trump and his inevitable ethics violations get him impeached? Unlikely. The Repubs are like the NFL: any violation committed by a team not named the New England Patriots will be ignored or given a light slap on the wrist. The Billionaire Boys Clubs, whether in politics or sports, takes care of their own. Soon Washington will be crawling with billionaires, no working folks allowed unless they serve the ruling class.

Shill, baby, shill!

How do you like the new term for lies: 'alternative facts'. These people are BRAZEN!!!

Trump is fond of saying legit news organizations are 'fake news': well, how about a fake Prez?

P.S. How do you like my Trump icon? Wild orange hair, big orange nose, talks gibberish when he opens his mouth!

Inauguration Stuff

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 05:38 pm
bradygirl_12: (jfk (flag))
Hi, all! As we approach the Inauguration (*shudders*), I thought I'd post these YouTube videos for comparison purposes. If JFK isn't your guy, I'm sure you can find plenty of Inaugural speeches and pageantry for other Presidents, but if you stick with me, here are some random thoughts:



This shows JFK's speech of thanks to Frank Sinatra for putting together this Inaugural Gala, and it was mentioned that some Broadway shows had to shut down temporarily as the plays' stars were all in Washington! I'm just guessing that there won't be the same amount of A-listers at Trump's Gala.



This speech is Cold War-heavy, but JFK came to office a committed Cold Warrior. He began to move away from that position, however, especially after staring down into the abyss of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. After that he pushed hard for a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (signed by him in 1963), better communications between him and Khrushchev (the infamous Hot Line), and efforts to lay the foundation for detente between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. His speech in June of 1963 at American University emphasized that peace should not be a Pax Americana, but a global peace. He also had quietly committed to pulling the American advisors out of Vietnam, keeping it on the downlow because he had to get re-elected in 1964, but he thought it was crazy talk to commit U.S. ground troops there. He publicly called it Vietnam's war to win.

Anyway, the Inaugural Speech itself is delivered forcefully and with eloquence. Think of that as you listen to Trump hem and haw and probably attack his critics in his speech. I don't know how this guy is going to last in office. Presidents are criticized for what they eat for breakfast. Thin skins don't last long in the Oval Office.



Finally, a short piece by Movietone News (still going strong in 1961!), that gives an overview of the day. It was a brilliant day, cold and clear, and as anyone in snow country knows, the sky is incredibly blue and the air sharp and clean on a day after a major snowstorm. So began the American Camelot, glittering like diamonds. :)

RIP, John Glenn

Thursday, December 8th, 2016 06:37 pm
bradygirl_12: (jfk (flag))



Godspeed, John Glenn

July 18, 1921-December 8, 2016

https://www.yahoo.com/news/former-astronaut-us-sen-john-glenn-ohio-died-203210458.html

December 7, 1941

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 11:44 am
bradygirl_12: (jfk (flag))
Today is the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Equated with JFK's assassination and 9/11, December 7th was a psychic shock for the country. Despite knowing in the backs of their minds that they would be dragged into the war, Americans had hoped against hope to be spared getting involved. After taking part in the War To End All Wars a generation before, they wanted nothing to do with Europe's latest conflagration. Yet this new war was not just in Europe but in the South Pacific, too. Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Fascist Italy were all teamed up to conquer the world.

Winston Churchill knew that it was the turning point of the war. FDR had invented Lend-Lease to help Great Britain survive and to aid the U.S.S.R. Yet even Roosevelt could not lead a people that wanted to stay out of the war until Pearl Harbor.

The Japanese were supposed to meet with Secretary of State Cordell Hull on December 7th and deliver their Government's ultimatum, but delays in transcribing meant that they met with Hull after the attack. The image enraged America: the ambassadors from Japan supposedly meeting to talk peace while the Japanese military attacked Pearl Harbor on a quiet Sunday morning.

Hitler did FDR a favor. He declared war on the U.S. soon after FDR's declaration of war on Japan. Americans would have resisted a Europe First strategy without that German declaration.

The rallying cry throughout the war would be, "Remember Pearl Harbor!" A pity more people don't remember the anniversary.

American Movie Classics are showing World War II movies all day long and the 1970 film, Tora! Tora! Tora! about the attack on Pearl Harbor at 8:00 EST tonight.

Finally, here's a video of JFK visiting the Arizona Memorial in 1963. The Memorial was completed in 1962 and he was the first U.S. President to visit it. All Presidents have followed his lead.


bradygirl_12: (bruce (yacht))
For your perusal:

At the same time, they have witnessed the rise of the Davos class, a hyper-connected network of banking and tech billionaires, elected leaders who are awfully cosy with those interests, and Hollywood celebrities who make the whole thing seem unbearably glamorous. Success is a party to which they were not invited, and they know in their hearts that this rising wealth and power is somehow directly connected to their growing debts and powerlessness.

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/40206-it-was-the-rise-of-the-davos-class-that-sealed-americas-fate

Nobody in this country knows how to talk about class. America is like a giant manor estate where the aristocrats don't know they're aristocrats and the peasants imagine themselves undiscovered millionaires. And America's cultural elite, trained for so long to think in terms of artificial distinctions like Republicans and Democrats instead of more natural divisions like haves and have-nots, refused until it was too late to grasp the meaning of the rage-storm headed over the wall.

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/40243-how-america-got-it-so-wrong

Moving Forward

Sunday, November 13th, 2016 10:10 am
bradygirl_12: (beaker (meep))
Damn those Cubbies! When they won the World Series this year, they tilted the Earth off its axis! Now we have Trump in the White House. Thanks, Chicago.

Seriously, I was as bummed as anyone among my fannish friends to see what happened. I could see the trend Election Night: Hillary kept losing key battleground states and her Electoral College numbers were not catching up to the Evil Emperor's. I went to bed long before midnight, reasoning that if a miracle happened and she won, a great way to wake up the next day, but I wasn't in the mood for staying up 'til the wee hours to watch an upset.

Cut for length )
bradygirl_12: (jfk (flag))
After watching parts of the Presidential debates I decided to seek out the first one in 1960. I'd seen excerpts from it but watched the entire debate and was struck by how Kennedy and Nixon acted like, well, adults. And that their audience fully expected them to act like adults and to respect each other. If they hadn't, they would have been roundly criticized by every Op-Ed in the country. The campaign trail could be more rough-and-tumble, but a debate in front of the entire country was expected to show two men acting presidential. If  either one had said to the other, "You belong in jail", people would have been appalled.

Of course, civic discourse in 1960 didn't consist of screaming and shouting at each other. Interruptions? The moderator would have squelched that. The candidates disagreed without insulting each other. In-your-face was for hoodlums and people who didn't know how to act in polite society. And get this, the candidates ACTUALLY TALKED ABOUT THE ISSUES!!!   

You know, it would be funny if it wasn't so important that Trump and his right wingnuts are making a pre-emptive strike about voter fraud and vowing not to accept the results if Hillary wins. Does Florida in 2000 ring a bell, with massive indication of a stolen election? What is this, a banana republic? Or just Trump's ego unable to accept defeat whether it's close or a landslide?

Trump vs JFK or Nixon would have been verbally shredded.

Here's a link to the first debate if you're interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbrcRKqLSRw There are also excerpts available.

I'll be voting Tuesday. I prefer the excitement of Election Day, a communal experience, to early voting. Some people will have voted 46 days early by Tuesday! Too much can happen in that span of time, IMO. Besides, it's like TV used to be: you knew millions of people were watching with you at the same time. Why do we stop and watch a show or movie we already have on DVD? It's that human need to connect in a social way, even if your fellow watchers are unseen. They're out there. Netflix isn't quite the same. Of course, if I'm stuck in line for hours, I may rethink this early voting thing! ;)

Remember, folks, vote early and often! ;)
bradygirl_12: (superman--wonder woman (uncle sam & lady)
Happy Fourth Of July to my fellpw Americans!!!

View a parade, eat a hot dog, watch some fireworks. Chill at the beach or at the backyard barbecue. Have fun! :)

Happy Canada Day!!!

Friday, July 1st, 2016 11:02 am
bradygirl_12: (canadian beaver)
Happy Canada Day to all our friends to the North! May it be a festive day! :)

How do Canadians celebrate their national holiday? Here in the U.S. it's with parades, cook-outs and fireworks. What's considered 'American foods' are hot dogs and hamburgers, and you add in potato salad, pasta salad, chips 'n' dips, and all sorts of goodies! :) You might get a band concert on the town common (and in Boston, it's a big show on the Esplanade). Lots of red-white-and-blue!

What are Canada's national foods? I know French fries with vinegar are popular (or were about fifteen years ago), and poutine. What is considered a quintessential Canadian dish?

I like the fact that in Niagara Falls, the two countries share a week of fireworks because their national holidays are so close together. :)

The Bridges At Toko-Ri

Saturday, June 25th, 2016 08:03 pm
bradygirl_12: (steve--diana (kiss))
This 1954 movie encapsulates the Korean War: William Holden's fighter pilot character is unhappy about being called up for Korea after serving in World War II. He'd been making headway in his civilian life like a lot of returned G.I.s and now was yanked back to fight in a war that wasn't exactly popular. What if his good luck was all used up in the last war? The prime real-life example was the Boston Red Sox' Ted Williams, who was called up for Korea after three years' service in World War II. Five prime years of his baseball career was lost to war.

Excellent jet fighter sequences and color photography with top-notch acting by Holden, Grace Kelly and Mickey Rooney.

bradygirl_12: (steve--bucky (world war ii sepia))
I'm guest-hosting over on [livejournal.com profile] vintage_ads for the one day event, the Korean War. There are some good ads over there if you want to take a look. :)

Today is the 66th anniversary of the start of the war on June 25, 1950.

Veterans of the Korean War in general and of this battle in particular said this movie was very accurate in its depiction of fighting in Korea. My father said that to me when we watched this film years ago. He served in Company B, 32nd Infantry.

Horror

Sunday, June 12th, 2016 11:21 am
bradygirl_12: (angel (trees))
Unfortunately, mass shootings are now almost commonplace in the U.S. in recent years, but this one is exploding the Internet because it's the deadliest in American history: so far, 50 dead and 53 hospitalized. The shooting started at 2:00 this morning at a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and the shooter has been identified as a Muslim, so the FBI is investigating whether this is a terrorist attack in addition to a hate crime. The deceased shooter's father says it's not terrorism. His son just hated gays. Nice. The shooter might have been set off after seeing two men kiss on the street in Orlando.

I am always sad for the victims and their loved ones. Just as sadly, nothing will change. The usual screeds and arguments will be trotted out about gun control and violence and nothing will be done. If the shooting of grade school kids a few years ago could get nothing done, nothing ever will.

It's Pride Week in the gay community. :(

 
bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)
Hi, luvs!

Today is Patriots Day (no, not those Patriots, heh heh) and so the traditional events take place on this day: the re-enactment of Lexington and Concord at dawn, the Boston Marathon, and the Boston Red Sox playing an 11:05 game at Fenway Park. This year Mark Wahlberg is filming scenes for his movie about the Boston Marathon bombing. He's a local guy who made good in Hollywood and understands what went on here, so I'll be curious to see how the movie turns out.

Going out later but puttering around the Internet this morning. Lovely spring weather! May get up to 60 degrees later, a week after we had snow! :) I'll be meeting friends for lunch at a local seafood restaurant and while I'm usually a haddock or cod kind of girl, I may go for swordfish or tilapia today to mix it up. We'll share a jumbo shrimp appetizer, which is perfect, because while I like shellfish, I can only eat a small amount in one sitting. One jumbo shrimp will be just right, Baby Bear! :)

May your Monday be festive, holiday or not! :)
bradygirl_12: (kennedy brothers (smiling))
Happy St. Patrick's Day, luvs! :)

'Tis a fine spring day, the birds singin' and the sun warm upon me face. Parades and pubbing and all sorts of shenanigans! To all of the clan, enjoy, and remember, today everyone is Irish! :)

I feel lucky as a charm. Perhaps I should purchase a lottery ticket. At least me shamrock is part of me available icons, so enjoy the pretty pic! :)

'Tis also Evacuation Day, the day in 1776 when the British scooted out o' Boston when the cannons dragged all the way from Fort Ticonderoga in the middle o' winter were placed atop Dorchester Heights. Suffolk County employees have the day off, and any state employees across the great state of Massachusetts may work and take the time off or get nice, green money instead. Ah, a fine day, a fine day, lads 'n' lasses! ;)

December 7, 1941

Monday, December 7th, 2015 06:05 pm
bradygirl_12: (jfk (flag))
Today is the 74th anniversary of December 7, 1941, the day that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. I noticed that AMC had World War II movies on all day.

World War II is becoming very much like World War I and the Civil War: black-and-white photographs of a time long ago, with fewer and fewer people around to possess actual memories of the events. Fortunately, despite the usual historical amnesia of my fellow Americans, some people do remember important events like this one.

It's not that hard to understand the shock of the people alive on that date of infamy. If you were around on November 22, 1963, you understand. If you were around on September 11, 2001, you understand.

Many Americans in 1941 knew in the backs of their minds that war was coming. Some pretended it would never come. Others wanted it because they felt that if the Nazis won in Europe and knocked off Great Britain, we were next. Most of the attention was on Europe, so the attack on Pearl Harbor was probably even more of a shock. Many Americans didn't even know where Pearl Harbor was. It was a U.S. Navy base, with the Army stationed at nearby Hickam Field, and unless you were in the military or knew someone who was and had been stationed there, why would you know about it? But on December 7, 1941, all of America found out.

The great Japanese Admiral Isokoru Yamamoto opposed war with the United States. He had studied at Harvard in 1919-1921 and served as a naval attache in Washington for two postings, traveling the country and learning about Americans. He had seen the industrial capacity of the United States at first-hand and knew that a long war with the U.S would be a disaster.

He did plan the attack on Pearl Harbor as ordered, but upon learning that the diplomatic notification to the Americans had been delivered late, casting the attack in the light of a "sneak attack", he was famously quoted as saying, "I fear all we have done today is to awaken a great, sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." He predicted that he could "run wild" for six months to a year, but could offer no guarantees for the years after that. He was extremely prophetic.

The loss of life and ships was a psychic blow. The particular horror of what happened to the U.S.S. Arizona is commemorated today with the famous memorial in the harbor. Fortunately, the aircraft carriers were not in port that day, and would prove invaluable in battles like the Coral Sea and Midway.

It was a long time ago, but the events of 1941 and the subsequent years formed history (the Cold War and our current era) and led to the Korean and Vietnam Wars. It's good to remember the sacrifices.

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