Is Nixon Underrated?

Today is Nixon’s 100th birthday. I wrote this piece about him about 5 years ago and think you might dig it.

Much has been made of Nixon’s gross errors, paranoid delusions, and chicanerous deceptions. But it is unfair to judge his entire presidency by his mistakes. There were numerous successes and some visionary policies. In fact, in some ways, he was one of the most succesful presidents in American history. He is the only man to ever be elected President twice and Vice President twice, and his victory in 1972 was one of the biggest landslides in American history. He was President when man first walked on the moon. Relations with Russia and China were both greatly improved during Nixon’s tenure. He was an impressive compromiser, able to succesfully push numerous bills through a Democratic Congress.

“If liberals were pressed to say something nice about Nixon, they’d probably mention his creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, Occupation Safety and Health Administration, and support for the clean water act, school desegregation, and affirmative action,” says Kevin Arceneaux, a political science professor at Temple. “By current-day standards, Nixon’s domestic policies would be considered centrist, if not left-of-center.” In fact, renowned left wing activist Noam Chomsky once called Nixon, “Our last liberal President.” And Hunter S. Thompson, who despised Nixon all his life and who worked feverishly to assist George McGovern in 1972, offered him faint praise a few years ago. “Richard Nixon looks like a flaming liberal today, compared to a golem like George Bush. Indeed. Where is Richard Nixon now that we finally need him?”

As for conservatives? “Conservatives, on the other hand, would probably point to Nixon’s foreign policy as his positive side,” continues Arceneaux. “Neo-conservatives are especially pleased with his willingness to expand the powers of the presidency to pursue aggressively U.S. foreign policy goals, even if it meant keeping Congress in the dark or treating concerns for civil liberties as secondary.”

Hunter Thompson said this about him in an otherwise scathing obituary in 1994. “He had the fighting instincts of a badger trapped by hounds. The badger will roll over on its back and emit a smell of death…It is a beast that fights best on its back: rolling under the throat of the enemy and seizing it by the head with all four claws.”

He was a fighter, a compromiser, the son of an impoverished grocer who rose to be the most powerful man on Earth. He was also a crook. But to paint his entire Presidency with the broad brush of the Watergate fiasco is simply not fair.

The Donspiracist Presents…Is Santa Claus Real?

We live in a society deep in denial ruled by a government that likes secrets. The elite who control our world love to suppress information, especially if it involves messages of hope, love and peace. Their reach knows no bounds-religion, family, school and even Santa Claus. The common mainstream portrayal of him as a myth and a cute legend for children is designed to obfuscate the facts-that the real Santa poses a power and an influence that the ruling elite find inconvenient. Just as they ignore Ron Paul, they are doing the same with Father Christmas.

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10 Most Intense Scenes from the Wire

If you haven’t watched The Wire yet, do yourself a favor and get on it. Best show ever. Anyways, I decided to list my top 10 most intense scenes in the show. Links will send you to the scenes on Youtube. By the way, none of these clips is safe for work. What scenes did I leave out? Lemme know.

  1. Bodie shoots Wallace. I never forgave Bodie for this, even though I liked him otherwise. I can never watch this scene again. Seriously. I linked to it but I can’t watch the link. It was the most upset I got during the whole five seasons.
  2. Omar faces off with Brother Mouzone. Definitely the most “Dirty Harry” moment of the show. A lot of fun.
  3. “You gonna look out for me? You gonna look out for me, Sergeant Carver?” Heart-wrenching to see a trusting kid learn not to trust anyone, not even a well meaning cop.
  4. Frank Sobotka goes to talk to the Greek while haunting music plays. Then the Greek gets that fateful phone call, and we know what’s coming next.
  5. Bodie’s last stand. Bodie goes out like a soldier, and it serves as a reminder that even the most loyal corner boy faces a violent and premature death.
  6. Marlo has Prop Joe killed after Cheese sells him out. I was always a big Slim Charles fan, even more so when he took out Cheese. And I must admit that the one person I was most glad to see get popped was Cheese. He was right up there with Marlo, Maury (the lawyer), Clay, and Scott the reporter as the people on the show with no principles, loyalty, or scruples.
  7. Kima’s sting goes bad. Man, this is wrenching. I never really cared for the Kima subplot with her girlfriend and baby and everything (it just never really went anywhere), but I liked her a lot. My heart was pounding the entire scene.
  8. D’angelo taken out at the prison library. I was pissed about this one too, because D’Angelo was one of my favorite characters, and certainly one of the most dignified characters in the show.
  9. String and Avon stand off, and String admits what went down with D’Angelo. I love the silence at the end of this scene when there is nothing else to say. This was really the beginning of the end of the Barksdale clan.
  10. Snoop and Michael take a ride. The whole time we’re ready for Michael to get popped, but he’s a quick learner and turns the tables. I loved Snoop and all, but I was glad it was her and not Mike. I just wish Mike had turned into something besides the next Omar.

Simpson’s Quiz on Sunday

Hey kids, just a reminder for all you Simpsons fans that there will be a Simpsons quiz this Sunday night at 8 p.m. at the Ugly American hosted by Mike Minion. All questions will be from the first ten seasons of the show. There will be a picture round and, since it is Mother’s Day, a round on mothers on the show. Plus the UA will be doling out their always great beer specials. May 8th at 7 p.m.

Hire Johnny For Your Event

awards.gif“Luckily for us, every weeknight there is a Quizzo owned and operated by one Johnny Goodtimes, who combines a serious trivia obsession with the knowledge that these things are supposed to be fun.” – City Paper

“The Bob Barker of quizzo hosts.” –Onion A.V. Club

“Each time we have worked together Johnny brings fresh new ideas to the table and has been a pleasure to work with.” – Franklin Institute

Johnny Goodtimes, widely acknowledged as one of Philadelphia’s foremost entertainers, has entertained at the World Cafe Live, the Palestra, the TLA, and the Franklin Institute. His quizzo has been named Best Quizzo by Philadelphia Magazine, been named Philly’s best in the City Paper 6 different times and has been named the Staff Pick for Best Quizzo in Philly Style Magazine. He has hosted major events for crowds of 500, small private parties for groups as small as 15, and has entertained groups of every size in between.

Quizzo is an excellent team building exercise, as well as an excellent ice breaker for any company function, and Johnny is unquestionably the most experienced and most entertaining person doing it. His rates are extremely reasonable, he can custom make the event in accordance with your wishes, and he is willing to travel. He has done numerous weddings, corporate events, and holiday parties, and is happy to provide references.  If you want to guarantee a fun, captivating, and interactive performance for your next company function, contact Johnny today!

“Vick-timized” by Willie Gee


This is a repeat of an excellent article Willie Gee wrote two years ago when Vick was arrested. I think it is well worth a re-read now that Vick has signed with the Eagles.

The latest developments in the Michael Vick dog fighting case seem to confirm what I have believed all along, which is that many people in powerful positions are trying to bring the man down. Although Vick is arguably one of the NFL’s greatest players and definitely the league’s most electrifying, his unconventional style of play along with his ability to “keep it real” seem to bother many members of the dominant culture. To put it bluntly, many people do not like him because he does not act white and corporate, and does not play the game like every other quarterback. I have further believed that “those people” have been out to get him for quite some time. Unfortunately, “those people” make up a disproportionately large part of the means that control society, such as the media. ESPN, in particular, has had a vendetta against this guy for at least the past year. From the middle finger incident, to the water bottle incident, and now this, Vick has taken more than his share of criticism. I mean, Kobe Bryant never took this much heat for buying his way out of a rape case. Moreover, the Feds never got involved in that one. They allowed the authorities in Eagle, Colorado to do their job, and there was no independent investigation conducted by the NBA either.

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