Holding nothing back…

Archive for February 2008

I’ve now read the chapter on Johnson and Nixon.  Talk about informative!

From reading the transcripts of Johnson and the stories that his staffers had, the man was a first-class Redneck through and through.  Apparently, his staffers were expected to follow him even into the BATHROOM and take notes while he did his morning shit, shower, and shave!  YIKES!  He was a micro-manager that bragged (on tape) that the pilots in Viet Nam couldn’t drop a bomb without his direct O.K., and who refused to have a Chief of Staff because he wanted every aspect of White House business reported to him. 

Nixon, apparently was practically psychotic (my impression, not what the book actually says).  He used to bark all sorts of orders that his staffers would refuse to carry out, even though there weren’t totally sure that Nixon was just “blowing off steam.”  Sure, we all say things from time to time that we don’t really mean (like “I’d like to STRANGLE my child” for example); but according to the tapes Nixon used to do this with such regularity, and sometimes actually MEAN what he was saying, that his staff never knew for sure whether or not to carry out his unreasonable orders.  Thus Watergate…

Just goes to show you.  People say some weird shit sometimes, even when they KNOW they are being taped!  If Presidents say things like that when they KNOW they are being taped (because they initiated the taping by pressing a button!), imagine the things they say OFF-tape!

It’ll be interesting to see the Oval Office tapes of Dubya when *they* become declassified in a few years…

Pet~

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Went to Half Price Books the other day and saw this book on the shelf.  Picked it up because I’ve become more interested in the inner workings of our government over the past 8 years (give or take) with all the pure-d crap going on in our government with a certain wanna-be-Texas-good-ol’-boy in the executive office…  Saw the quotes from Nixon and Clinton on the back, laughed my butt off and decided that I had to have the book.

The chapter on FDR was really quite interesting.  Very little humor in it, but still quite interesting to read the actual word-for-word conversations that were held in the Oval Office about the Depression, New Deal, and WW1.  FDR was the first president to install and use recording equipment in the Oval Office, and he didn’t always inform those he was talking with that they were being recorded.  Executive privelidge, I say.  I mean, the president is in a unique position and is, or at least was before the advent of all the modern recording equipment we have available today, often in a position to be misquoted very much to his detriment.  I can definitely understand why FDR would think it prudent to have the Oval Office literally wired for sound!

Truman didn’t use the recording equipment much.  There are a couple of instances where Oval Office conversations were recorded, but at least one of them was a test, and Truman had a stenographer present for most official Oval Office conversations.  With the stenographer, there are still word-for-word records of the Oval Office conversations but I can well imagine that it just isn’t the same as hearing the vocal inflections like one would on a tape.

I just started the chapter on Eisenhower, but for some odd reason, I don’t expect to be as interested in it as I will be the tapes from Nixon on.  Those are the presidents from *MY* lifetime and I’m sure that just because I have some memories, however vague, that I’ll find those transcripts more interesting.

So far it’s been really interesting reading, despite my not having any memories from the eras I’ve read about so far.  Just the history of reading the real words the presidents in question said…  It’s amazing.  And Mr. Doyle does a really good job of giving the circumstances surrounding the conversations you are reading, as well as giving you an idea of the vocal inflection that he hears in the tapes.  I’m definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the book, and would recommend it to anyone interested in the behind-the-scenes discussions that shaped our country over the past 6 decades or so.

Pet~

Many thanks to kateharding.net for pointing me to this article at theatlantic.com.

To truly do my arguments against this article justice, I’d have to totally violate copyright law because I’d be copying the entire damn thing!  It’s truly atrocious.

The basic premise of the article is that Ms. Gottlieb has reached an age (which she never reveals, but indicates that it’s 40-ish) where she regrets not marrying, especially after having conceived a child via anonymous donor sperm.  About 6 months into motherhood, Ms. Gottlieb realizes what almost any mother out there can tell you:  Raising a child is HARD WORK that requires more than one person; and is now bemoaning her status as a single mother.

What Ms. Gottlieb doesn’t understand, and her article makes it obvious, is that being married is also HARD WORK.  “Settling” for someone that you aren’t “on the same page” with will just make it that much HARDER.  Ask anyone who settled for Mr. Good Enough and is now divorced!  Ask my mother, who divorced after 18 years of “staying together for the kids.”  Ask my friend of the past 20 years, whose Mr. Good Enough left when things got hard and one of her kids was diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder.  Ask my step-mother, for whom my father is her FIFTH husband. 

After 18 years of marriage, I can tell you one thing beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Love, true lasting love, is something you CHOOSE to DO, not a feeling.  Granted, choosing loving actions is a LOT more difficult when the person you are trying to love is a JERK, but you choose to continue to be loving towards him or not; and that’s reciprocal folks.  He chooses to be loving towards you or not.

No, you don’t choose to fall IN love with someone, but you DO choose to STAY in love with him or her.

A younger friend, recently engaged, asked me what I would say the secret to my long (by today’s standards, since most marriages are doing well to make it to 10 years) and happy marriage was.  My answer was simple:  I choose, daily, to love my husband in little and big ways; and he chooses, daily, to love me.  Somedays that choice is easier than others, for both of us.  There are days when I don’t make it very easy for him to love me.  There are days when he makes it VERY EASY for me to love him.  But whether it’s easy or not, we CHOOSE to love each other.

That’s it.  That’s my secret.  It’s the greatest gift we give each other.  And the greatest gift we give to our kids.  =c)

Pet~

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I saw this on PostSecret today and thought it hits so close to home. 

I’m 38 and for the first time in my life I can honestly say that I feel comfortable in my own skin.  I no longer worry about what everyone else will think if I do this or don’t do that or wear this or don’t wear makeup or whatever else I used to worry about people thinking.  I no longer feel like I’m living my life for my parents or that it’s my *DUTY* to please them.  I’m living my life to please me, and if I please them in the process, WONDERFUL.  If not, it’s their problem, not mine.