Tin soldiers and Nixon coming


Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We’re finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming
Four dead in Ohio.
Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?
by Neil Young, performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

On May 4th, 1970 Ohio National Guard troops opened fire on Kent State University student protesters. In 13 seconds of shooting, 9 were wounded and 4 killed. The student protest had begun against the American invasion of Cambodia, announced by President Nixon just a few nights before, but grew to include a protest about the military response and presence of National Guardsmen on the campus at Kent State.

Time-line of the day of the shootings.

The 13 seconds ended the lives of students Jeffrey Miller, Allison Krause, William Schroeder, and Sandra Scheuer. Shot at distances that ranged from 270 feet to 390 feet. Some of these students were not even directly involved. The “massacre” sparked a nationwide student strike that closed many colleges and universities.

“Four young men and women had their lives taken from them while lawfully protesting this outrageous government action. We are going back to keep awareness alive in the minds of all students, not only in America, but worldwide…to be vigilant and ready to stand and be counted… and to make sure that the powers of the politicians do not take precedent over the right of lawful protest.” — musician Graham Nash

The Kent State shootings were the possibly unexpected outcome of “the establishment’s” outrage over the general populace’s increasing use of protests. Today’s paper referenced an article from The Washington Post with a 40 year later recap of the Watergate affair. It’s a long article well worth reading describing the Nixon White House’s frame of mind at the time.

It points out that Nixon had declared war on 5 fronts:

1. The war against the antiwar movement
2. The war on the news media
3. The war against the Democrats
4. The war on justice
5. The war on history

Reading the detail about each of these “wars” is sobering. Understanding how many of these “wars” have been carried forward into the modern day is worse.

“Nixon’s first war was against the anti-Vietnam War movement. The president considered it subversive and thought it constrained his ability to prosecute the war in Southeast Asia on his terms. In 1970, he approved the top-secret Huston Plan, authorizing the CIA, the FBI and military intelligence units to intensify electronic surveillance of individuals identified as “domestic security threats.”  Today it’s NSA and the monitoring of cell and land line calls. This article from 2006 (from the corporate media, no less) suggests that about 200 million people have had their call records monitored.

With regards to the war on the news media, I hope that everyone knows that FoxNews’ leader, Roger Ailes, first proposed an uncensored news source for transmitting the Republican party’s corrupt influence in the early 70s. See the article at Gawker.com.

The other parallels to modern times are easily seen from the piece by Woodward and Bernstein. Power attracts those in the society most consumed by self-interest. I’d say people like Biden and Obama are there as a bulwark against the maniacs craving power at all costs, but unfortunately, they are like Chihuahuas threatening Pit Bulls and recent political profiteering concerning Obama gaffes about Polish Death Camps and a good economy echo that.

The only force that can overcome that entrenched power mentality will come from the streets and the normal, periodic rising up of everyday Americans saying, “enough.”

I apologize for the early blurt of the unfinished post to those that received it.

Final Thoughts:

Wisconsin’s recall failure has perfect logic in Midwest sensibilities. You can’t oust a legally elected official just because you don’t agree with his or her policies. It was a fairly tight vote and the cost on the Walker side was over $30 million dollars. If I were a rich man (Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum) I would be questioning whether this is the best way to spend my hard-earned (hah!) money or whether some other application would be more beneficial (e.g. sending prostitutes to the regulators). [cringe]

A Democratic group Engage America has lost their 501 (c)(4) not-for-profit standing for activities that larger SuperPacs are involved with, suggesting that the IRS may force major political groups to, at the least, disclose their contributors.

 A New York Times/CBS News poll shows that public approval of the Supreme Court has dropped to 44 percent. The drop in support reaches across ideological lines, with liberals and conservatives giving the Court approval ratings of about 40 percent. In the late ’80s, approval of the Supreme Court was 66 percent—by 2000, it neared 50 percent.

Sad: Associated Press reports that for 2012, suicides have averaged almost 1 per day for U.S. Military troops, 50% higher than the death rate in Afghanistan. 154 suicides in 155 days.

But on a lighter note, from the Mitt clueless-rich-guy file:

“Can you see that one of those chocolate, um, uh, chocolate goodies finds its way to our ride?”

—Mitt Romney on donuts at a campaign event. Will he bring the treat back to his people?


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Filed under Politics, Social Issues

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