Richard Nixon Sabotaged Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam Peace Talks


Would people view President Johnson more favorably if they knew this story?

In spite of the Vietnam mess of which Johnson was obviously a major player, I think he was a great president and am disappointed in the low esteem in which many hold him. I despised Vietnam as a kid and still do, but there is more to a man than that disaster. How about civil rights, voting rights, fair housing, Medicare, anti-poverty legislation like Medicaid, Head Start, food stamps, and work study, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, the Public Broadcasting Service, promotion of science including our first trip to the moon (started by Kennedy, finished by Johnson), immigration reform/liberalization, massive aid for education, among others?

That’s quite a list.  However, this sordid tale of Nixon’s misdeeds makes Johnson even more appealing.

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Global Surveillance Apparatus Largely Independent of National Politicians


Like many multi-national corporations, the international surveillance apparatus apparently operates globally without any meaningful checks and balances. National leaders do not even know the extent to which their own intelligence agencies are or are not cooperating with the NSA. This is tantamount to a kind of international shadow government.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Laurence Kant

The NSA is Hacking Systems Administrators


Every day, it seems, we learn more about our shadow government:


The U.S. is Using Solitary Confinement in its Prisons at a much higher rate than other Countries


This is a troubling trend that betrays the fundamental values of a free society:


Woman who Rescued her Husband from Dachau Dies at 111


A moving story about a unique person: Giesela Kohn Dollinger:


NSA Can Record an Entire Nation’s Telephone Calls: Surveillance Unleashed

To say the least, this is disturbing. The NSA now has the capability of recording not only metadata, but also the content of telephone calls across an entire country. When can we start saying that we live in a police state?


The Story of Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands

Here is a video that discusses the history of Jewish refugees from Arab lands. This review is pertinent, given recent, false claims by Presbyterian leadership about Jewish history in the Middle East, which I discussed briefly in a previous post yesterday:


The NSA Installs Malware Globally: The Outer Limits of Surveillance


Though not surprising, this is appalling. It’s another indication how close we are to totalitarianism.


How the Koch Brothers Money System Works


A troubling tale about how money moves in the world of the Koch Brothers. We talk about the oligarchs in Russia. How different are we from them?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Laurence Kant

Massive License Plate Surveillance: Another Assault on the Fourth Amendment

And they’re not deleting anything–ever.


The Prison Gulag in Idaho: Another Horror Story of Private Prison Management

Ada County Republican Caucus in Boise, Idaho

When will we learn? Make sure to see the video.


Freedom Of Assembly under Threat in U.S.


We are so proud of the freedoms we have in this country, but what is the state of our freedom really?


Exxon CEO Joins Lawsuit to Prevent Fracking near his Home


Oh the tangled webs we weave . . .


Crashing Wall Street Party Exposes Embarrassing Behavior


Hard to believe: corporate CEOs and other VIPs acting like idiots. Pathetic. A sad commentary on leadership and virtue in our society. Fortunately, there are intrepid reporters like Kevin Roose who make us look at ourselves in the mirror. Slowly this will force us to change for the better, I think.


Fleeing the Holocaust: A Story of Travel to Iran


The story of children who came eventually to Tehran to flee the holocaust:


Peace Protesters Sentenced to Excessively Long Terms


I am certainly not a pacifist and would not agree with the protesters on several matters. This includes the notion that we can just unilaterally stop having nuclear weapons or that we should stop using drones.

Further, I expect protesters engaging in civil disobedience to be willing to accept reasonable punishment (which apparently these ones are). These sentences, however, seem retributive and excessive. How do we put individuals like this away for so long when we allow CEO bankers who have engaged in presumably criminal activity and thereby done infinitely more damage to millions of people and to the well-being of our nation and world to go scott-free? Not only do they have their freedom, but they even get to dine and schmooze with leading politicians, including the president, and other glitterati. There’s something wrong here.

Perhaps the government was simply embarrassed by their incompetent and ineffective security around the most powerful weapons in the world.

In any case, we apparently have a two-tiered society: one for the privileged, and one for the rest of us. This will have to change for us to meet our ideals.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Laurence Kant

Finland #1, but U.S. Sinks to #46 in Press Freedom World Rankings


Not surprising, but disappointing. Apparently the myths we have about ourselves in the U.S. overshadow the truth.–1–us-sinks-to-46th-in-global-press-freedom-rankings-145044630.html


Oldest Piece (Zircon) of Planet Earth Found in Australia Sheep Ranch


This Zircon crystal formed in the first 100 million years of the earth’s existence and suggests that, even at this early date 4.4 billion years ago, a relatively cool earth could have conceivably sustained oceans and perhaps even life:


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