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1973-74 All Over Again?

Posted on January 24, 2006
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I was five years old in ‘73. One of my earliest memories is sitting next to my dad as he peered into a little black and white television set, listening to the Watergate hearings. I remember two of the correspondents’ names - Terry Drinkwater and Roger Mudd - funny names perfectly constructed, it seems in retrospect, for a five year old to remember.

It is surreal for me to read about the events of those years - it must have seemed like the end of the world, in some respect. I’ve put together my thoughts on the similarities then and now, which you can read here: That Old Malaise: Inflation, the Middle East, and High Crimes in the Whitehouse

If you lived through it, what was it like? The politics? The inflation? How does it compare to today? How do you see the current situation shaking out? Let us know!


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49 Comments so far
  1. River January 24, 2006 9:30 pm

    It is essential that this country maintain the rule of law. This is what the country is based on - laws, not whims. Watergate set a precedent. The President is *not* above the law - he is a citizen, just like the rest of us, and subject to the same rules and restrictions.

    Bush has repeatedly tried to ignore laws. If we use the justification of War, then what would prevent future presidents from declaring war to simply act like a dictator? Some believe that has already happened with this war, and the war on drugs which allows the illegal confiscation of property without due process.

    Bush claims that he wants to protect the American people. The best way he can do that is by first respecting the Constitution. If the terrorists push us away from our most cherished values of Liberty and Freedom, then they have won, in my opinion.

    Impeachment? Yes. We need to send a clear message and stand up for our rights as citizens.

    Thank you, Michael for the courage to write this article.


  2. Kelleher January 24, 2006 9:57 pm

    Oddly enough, I was working at the CIA when President Nixon resigned. There were a few guys with “Impeach the Coxsacker” posters hanging on their doors, but management frowned on overt political expressions and they all came down.

    I have to laugh when I hear people breathlessly concerned that the NSA is eavesdropping on Americans, or that W is somehow breaking the law and endangering the Constitution. The NSA is like any government agency, it is terribly bureaucratic and it has limited resouces.

    Those resources have to be carefully managed or else nothing will get done. The notion that billions of dollars of equipment and limited manpower would be used for petty political purposes is simply farcical. Back in ‘74, the bureaucrats at NSA took so long to release intercepts, we had to arrange covert meetings with one of their analysts to have any hope of getting timely intelligence — yes the CIA had to recruit a “spy” at NSA to do its job!

    So put away the X-File conspiracy theories. The truth is far more mundane and less interesting.

  3. Joseph E Fasciani January 24, 2006 10:33 pm

    Thank you for an essay which is timely, filled with integrity, brave, and very much needed. I will be 63 soon, and now live near Sidney, BC, but was born and raised in the USSA [not a typo] until 1969, when I left for Canada at age 26. I was not a ‘draft dodger’ as is DUbya.

    I lived through all of the events you wrote of, and can vouch for your accuracy. The parallels are many, and all too true. Because human nature has not changed, Kondratieff’s cycles are relevant and operational. Look at the timing: from 1966 to 2000 is 34 years, two complete cycles of 17 years each. A human generation is reckoned as 20 years, which explains why our political and historical memories are as short as they are.

    My oldest child is my daughter Lela, whose E-trade account I began to manage on 18 November 2005. It has gained more than 20% since then; on the day the D-J dropped 251 points, her accounts gained US$ 1,200.00. I am not a rocket scientist, not even a college graduate, as she is. I make decisions based on the behaviour of sheeple and their fear and greed. With the insane fool DUbya at the wheel, as he lurches from one folly to the next, these decisions are made even easier, terribly and utterly predictable. As a Christian, I deplore his Satanic behaviour, but I use my understanding of it to profit from it. You can do the same.

    Again, my thanks for your efforts on our behalf. All best from Canada, jefasciani@highspeedplus.com

  4. James Quillian January 25, 2006 4:05 am

    There are some differences.


    1.) The government is supporting stock prices.
    2.) Lawlessness is tolerated in the financial markets if it furthers the goals of politicians.
    3.) Derivatives markets create demand for their underlying assetts.
    4.) The news media has a stake in helping to up scandals. The Jack A. Abramoff story is under-reported by the media. Both parties avoid discussions about the matter. - ????? -

    James Quillian

  5. Jack MeHoff January 25, 2006 6:41 am


    Very well written, sir.

    I believe the aftermath of this collapse will be much, much worse than that of the ’70’s. We were innocent back then. Today we’re a much more “diverse” nation, more violent, and the chasm between rich & poor is at least 200% wider than thirty years ago.

    I suggest you all read “Blood in the Streets” by Davidson. He wrote this book several years ago, but as I look at the world around me, I’m beginning to see Davidson was just a little ahead of his time.

  6. JWW3+ January 25, 2006 6:53 am

    My humble opinion is that this will be many times worse than 73-74 financially. It has only just begun. The USA is riding a deluded wave of optimism that has been kept going by cheap money, massives debt and cheaper ethics in business and government. The stock market has had a plurality of bulls for a record length of time. The Bear which started in 2000 will not be over until the bulls have been devoured. Beware- take care.

  7. Robert Hyatt January 25, 2006 7:18 am

    Do not underestimate these folks. The have, which was lacking with Nixon, tremendous outside poower sources that will shape the direction, or emphasis, of any investigation.
    Money buys a lot, a ton of money buys pretty much anything you want.
    I say they skate and stay in power for at least another 4 (to 2012.

  8. Peter January 25, 2006 7:33 am

    Great article. I lived through it as I worked for Elliot Richardson during those troubling times. We had the TV on in our office listening to the hearings. Actually it was not John Dean that put Nixon on the slippery slope out of office, it was Butterfield (I think) who mentioned during the hearings that everything said in the Oval Office was on tape. When we heard that, we all looked at one another and said “Nixon is done.” As a side note, the night before the October massacre, Richardson called everyone he had brought to Washington and told us what was going to happen. He was a class act who put the law above the office. If you want more stories, send me an e-mail. I now run a small hedge fund because I truly believe that this time is not different and this time will be worse.

  9. steve January 25, 2006 7:36 am

    No, it’s just 2006 in progress!

    With a newly conservative-leaning Supreme Court and both houses of congress controlled by Republicans, it is not very likely that this administration will be forced to account for its sins anytime soon in a court of law. Also, the Democrats appear to be so disoriented and out of touch with mainstream America vis-a-vis current issues that any attempts on their part to force an impeachment would probably backfire.

    Economically, we have passed through a period of disinflation which saw interest rates sink to 40 year lows. Rates apparently became lower than the market clearing rate as evinced by a tremendous increase in debt of all kinds and maturities. (This was to bail-out the savings and loan companies, to rescue Mexico, restore liquidity after the Russian default, so that families could continue to spend in an era of declining real hourly wages, etc., etc.) High debt accumulation, especially after the huge federal budget deficit increases of the last few years, is always followed by higher interest rates. Higher rates will adjust price-earnings ratios downward (through earnings yield/bond yield competition). Tobin’s q is presently at a level which has characterized most stock market tops since 1900. We are probably looking towards a stock market decline, but for very different reasons than the high-inflation period of 1973-1974!

    And for anyone who believes in the worth of cycles for forecasting, let them try to trade with cycles for as long as their capital holds out! On a trading basis, approximately one third of the cycles appear as projected; another third come distressingly early or late; and the final third skip or don’t show up at all. Robert Prechter has been calling for financial Armageddon for about ten years without success. Also, remember the Kondratiev cycle people who have been predicting the same thing for a decade, and who are now explaining away their failures with circular logic (I may be wrong, but I believe that I read recently of a Kondratieff “false spring” as a cover for the model’s failure.)

    I think that Mark Twain said it best when he reflected, “the past doesn’t repeat — but it rhymes!”

  10. Doug January 25, 2006 8:01 am

    I was 25 in ‘73 and you have described it fairly and made a cogent argument for what could happen today.BUT there is a foul movement afoot in the U.S. today and that is the current effort to load the supreme court with idealogues who will not oppose the white house as it did back then.This, I believe is the single most serious problem facing Democracy today-They may not be held accountable and we won’t have the rule of law, but of men. This may be our last opportunity to stop the neocon movement from assuming permanent control without resorting to a violent revolution.

  11. H. Scott Parry January 25, 2006 8:48 am

    Your comments are very biased and laced with an agenda that, while you have the right to express them, border on treason. Anyone who would embrace or promote the thoughts of the ACLU loses a great deal of credibility in my opinion.
    I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat, have no special agenda.

    Fortunately, voices like yours are “underground” and not in the mainstream, to pollute the average American mind; unlike that of the senseless American media.

  12. River January 25, 2006 8:53 am

    More evidence that this Administration believes it is above the law:

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 - The Bush administration, citing the confidentiality of executive branch communications, said Tuesday that it did not plan to turn over certain documents about Hurricane Katrina or make senior White House officials available for sworn testimony before two Congressional committees investigating the storm response.


    What could possibly be the problem, except that they are hiding their incompetence? There is no excuse of national security in this case - in fact it is a matter of national security that the documents be made public so that we can learn from what went wrong.

    What is happening is really terrible, and it saddens me deeply. What has happed to government BY the PEOPLE, and FOR the PEOPLE?

  13. orwell84 January 25, 2006 10:04 am

    “the past does not repeat itself, but it rhymes” - Mark Twain

    This current period is rhyming with the ’70’s, but with one significant twist.
    This time mother nature is putting the squeeze on oil, not the arabs.
    This time it’s for real. PEAK OIL.
    Those in power cannot be stifled by petty concerns like the rule of law as we know it.
    How “convenient” that two supreme court positions have opened up and are being filled with lackeys for the bush/cheney crime syndicate.
    No impeachment this time around. Torture, NSA spying, Bill of Rights protections, not a problem.Those at the top learned there lesson with Nixon.
    Watch for capital and exchange controls, tightened border controls, especially for
    LEAVING the U.S..
    Abramoff scandal choreographed just in time to draw media attention away from white house crimes and scandal. ROVE will never be touched. Fitzgerald Who? old news.
    The madness of “king george”, history rhymes again. loss of an empire.
    gold up, dollar down, H5N1 - 21st century Spanish flu.

    “A country without a memory is a country of madmen.”
    George Santayana

  14. Jay January 25, 2006 10:49 am

    “Your comments are very biased and laced with an agenda that, while you have the right to express them, border on treason. Anyone who would embrace or promote the thoughts of the ACLU loses a great deal of credibility in my opinion.”

    Somehow, this says more about the state of “Bush’s America” than anything else I’ve read. Anyone who tries to invoke the Constitution to the detriment of the Republican Party must be a traitor. And they can prove it, because they (could) have it all on tape…

  15. Dorothy Moore January 25, 2006 11:46 am

    Michael, as always, you write a thoroughly intelligent and well-researched article, with valuable statistical information. However, the ACLU has lost its credibility for many Americans over the years. I now question anything they are involved in.

    In 1973 I was 28 years old, and moved to Beverly Hills from Chicago three years earlier. A week after arriving I went to work at a Beverly Hills law firm — for a senior partner who specialty was civil litigation and constitutional law. This attorney was always on the cutting edge of law,and had also been a special prosecutor in the District Attorney’s office in Los Angeles, and covered the Eichman Trial, as a journalist, for the Hurst papers.

    The Watergate hearings, the Washington Post’s courage to report the facts, and the role of two young reporters in bringing about the story of the century, and much more, was discussed daily at that firm, and made for many interesting conversations. There is no shortage of people with strong opinions in law offices. I learned a great deal, and had a few opinions of my own.

    I thought John Dean to be especially brave with his candid answers at the hearings, and admired him for his intelligent and thoughtful responses. No one doubted that he was telling the truth.

    What touched me most though, around that time, was the day I met John Dean’s wife at the Safeway Market on Beverly Drive and Olympic Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For those of you too young to remember, she was the beautiful,sullen blonde, who sat behind John Dean at the hearings, with her long hair pulled back in a Chignon, and always wearing a conservative and appropriate classic suit.

    Mrs. Dean was not treated well by some of the cruel patrons at the store that day, and despite the fact that she had two carts full of groceries, the employee who packed her carts never offered to help her out to the parking lot. I recognized her as I entered the store and saw what was happening. I introduced myself, and helped her take the extra cart to her car.

    My heart went out to Mrs. Dean, and I admired her for her loyalty to her husband. She did not have to endure the hearings, the reporters, and the constant biting comments of strangers, but she did. And, she was notably depressed, and on the verge of tears when I approached her. The Deans were both suffering after leaving Washington, and were staying at her parents place on Olympic Boulevard. I never told anyone where they were staying,for fear reporters would interrupt their needed respite. It had just slipped out when we were talking. I tried my best to make her feel better,although that was an impossible task that day.

    I can also still see Nixon getting on the helicopter, his last day in office, on the White House lawn. Diane Sawyer, of ABC’s Good Morning America, was the young woman who accompanied the Nixons. She was working with the President at that time on his autobiography, and flew with them to California and stayed with them at the Nixon Estate in Capistrano.

    A little known fact is that Nixon’s grandson, Christopher Cox, was elected to Congress out of Newport Beach, California in the late 1980s. He had arrived, unexpectedly with Republican leaders at his side, coming to California from his home in Texas. I met him at a fundraiser at a private home in Newport Beach. He never mentioned to anyone in Newport that he was the grandson of Nixon — the Republican Party was trying to keep that part of his background a secret. I also saw Chris years later, on Larry King, when his grandfather’s name came up, and he said nothing in his grandfather’s defense. No one would have ever known they were even related.

    It is interesting how the telling of a lie can effect generation after generation — as a man of great privilege falls from grace and loses his honor. We should all remember this.

    As a final note, I think tough times are ahead, but we have had tough times before and have always survived them. We are an “intuitive” nation, and have always managed to make the necessary changes at the right time, and do the right thing. We are not a weak nation, but rather a strong nation, and have always managed to handle every disappointment, loss and challenge. We are one nation made up of many nationalities, and we will always rise above the coming waves and tides, and take our rightful place in the end . . . on solid fertile ground. It is our destiny to do so.

    Dorothy Moore

  16. Administrator January 25, 2006 11:58 am

    Dear Dorothy,

    Thank you for the memories and the insight.

    I know that the ACLU has gotten bad press in recent years, and I think that it has been due to a misunderstanding about what their true function is. This has come about based on publicity regarding some of the cases they have taken on. I can’t think of any specifically, but I can imagine, for example the ACLU has taken positions to defend the *right* of free speech, regardless of the message. As a result, people mistakenly come to believe that the ACLU is endorsing the message of the client they are defending. This could not be further from the truth.

    The rights that Americans enjoy are to be applied equally, and the ACLU, as the name implies, is involved in defending Civil Liberties of Americans. Freedom of speech is not just for the things we like to hear, but for everything. I think it is best summed up by the following, which is on the Holocaust Memorial here in Boston:

    “First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.”

    The ACLU is the organization that speaks up when others don’t, won’t or can’t. Not everyone will like or even agree with their various clients. Some clients may be unsavory. However, the flip side of rights in our country is responsibilities to defend those rights for all. The current right that the ACLU is defending, in my opinion, is that we are all equal, and no one is above the law. If your civil liberties are violated, I think that you would be happy that the ACLU would be there to defend you.

  17. Chad Olivent January 25, 2006 3:02 pm

    We will know we are back in the good ole days when the MSM dusts off the ‘Misery Index’ which simply added the inflation rate and the unemployment rate together. I remember quite well the gas lines and the politics. I think the significant difference is that now we don’t have too many factories from which we can lay off workers. So the main question I pose is, how do we recover from this one? Do we all buy more burgers at the new restaurants located next to the mortgage and title companies? Does anyone remember the term ‘jobless recovery’?

  18. Bob Speer January 25, 2006 3:32 pm

    I was a stockbroker at the time and the market didnt pay much attention to the watergate affair for awhile and then it started down. It didnt make much difference about financials,P E’s, earnings, the public had lost faith in the leadership and the market took the heat. In todays market with the debt structure as it is, the situation might become devestating.

  19. Andy January 25, 2006 5:04 pm

    One of the many differences between Nixon and Bush is proabbaly too subtle for talking-point-liberals to understand. Nixon was spying on US citizens and President Bush is spying on terrorists who have already murdered more than 3000 US citizens.

  20. Nish January 25, 2006 5:38 pm

    Unlike in the 70’s, we have a much better media, and plenty more psyciatric drugs that have truely brainwashed a lot of us. In the 70’s the dead soldiers and enemies were present on TV, but not today. We seem more interested in Desperate HouseWives than OIL politics.

    Yet, we also more awake than before. Due to the internet there were million people protests before the war even started. There are protests in college campuses against the likes of Nike and COKe. For the first time South America seems to be going to the original owners of that land. World Wide there are protests against the likes of IMF and the World. For the first time, people world wide are waking up to a reality that this war is not a war of OIL POLITICS but a war between our royal families and us.

    I truely believe that this is the begining of the end of this fantasy economy and American lifestyle and the hopefully the start of a new beginning where all wealth and resources are respectfully shared amongst all human beings equally.

  21. ron January 25, 2006 6:51 pm

    Your article is both informative and interesting to someone who lived through the 70’s. However you don’t touch on the big differences; unions, colas, fewer immigrants, fewer imports, and perhaps most important, the existence of the USSR which forced our elite to maintain better opportunities for working Americans so as to seem superior.

  22. Mike T J January 25, 2006 8:09 pm

    The most recent example of the Bush Incompetence Train Wreak is the Jan. 1 transfer, or lack of, of senior medicaid recipients to private insurers. There are millions of seniors without access drugs right now due to the amazingly incompetent lack of preparation for the transfer. Bush Jr has pissed off the seniors big time. That is a big mistake. The Republicans are screwed in November. Bush will be impeached by democratically controlled congress and senate. An Iranian oil embargo, Iraqi civil war, or another global warming (denied) juiced hurricane buzz saw season in the Gulf will only add to the contempt for Bush Jr and the Republicans.

  23. zanzibar January 26, 2006 1:09 am

    I applaud your courage in presenting a case of similarity between the 70s and today and speaking what many don’t want to hear.

    I am deeply concerned at the state of both our economy and our politics. Today to oppose the position of Bush and the Republicans is to be labeled unpatriotic. One big difference that I see is that unlike the 70s today all major organs of power are controlled by a very small group. From the Presidency to Congress and the traditional media and very soon the Supreme Court. So in a sense we are as close to totalitarianism as we’ve ever been since the founding of the republic. With the warrantless spying on Americans to torture and the elimination of habeas corpus for those that are deemed “enemy combatants” by the executive we are living disdain for the Constitution.

    Economically we are running trade deficits of 6% of GDP. At this rate our cumulative trade deficit in another decade will be as much as the market cap of all US listed stocks. We are turning over our assets to foreigners. Our economy needs ever increasing amounts of debt to generate a unit of GDP. Consumption now represents 70% of GDP while Chinese capital investment is closing in on ours even though their economy is a fraction of ours. Our business leaders are spending large percentages of the record profits of companies on stock buybacks and not on capital investment to build new products and services that increase employment and incomes. Our wages are stagnating while costs of food, energy and healthcare rise - but the CPI does not reflect it.

    I hope my fellow citizens awaken from their stupor and reclaim the republic and our work ethic and business common sense as we need to build anew for the next generation.

  24. Ajakeone January 26, 2006 5:08 am

    Sir- I agree that our nation is about to go into a very difficult period–President Bush bears only marginal responsibility for this–both parties, Repbublicians and Democrats, share much more cuplability than Bush– I believe the major offenders are our major opinion shapers, CNN, NY Times/ LA Times–ect. who regularly tell the news with their own political spin to shape public opinion against Bush, and at the time, for Clinton. Also, to use the Nation and the ACLU as credible sources for your statements is to weaken your presentation and the veracity of our nations problems, as these two organization spew out so much leftist bs so as to not be considered anywheres close to being balanced or fair.

  25. Jay January 26, 2006 6:50 am

    “One of the many differences between Nixon and Bush is proabbaly too subtle for talking-point-liberals to understand. Nixon was spying on US citizens and President Bush is spying on terrorists who have already murdered more than 3000 US citizens.”

    How do you know who he’s spying on? The laws say he needs to get a warrant, in which case SOMEONE, at least just the secret court, would know who was involved. But now all we have is spokesliar Scott McClellan “assuring us” that it’s just terrorists. If it was REALLY just terrorists, and they really had evidence that these people might even plausibly be terrorists, surely they’d get the &#*(@ warrants.

    Bush has clearly stated that most people who disagree with his policies (e.g. by saying that we should stop the war in Iraq) are providing “aid and comfort to the terrorists.” So all of those people could be on The List, couldn’t they? Prove they’re not.

  26. River January 26, 2006 7:15 am


    Your article shows the extremely important role that the Supreme Court plays in maintaining the rule of law and restraining the power of government. It is unfortunate the the Court is being stacked in favor of the neocons and against the American people. The NY Times suggests that Democratic Senators stage a filibuster to block Alito’s nomination:


    Alas, it doesn’t look like it will happen, and I fear for the future of our contry. I’m afraid that we may simply be on the long, downslope of Empire. No one seems to care any more.

  27. Eagle January 26, 2006 9:46 am

    Those numbers are meaningless unless you factor in cpi.

    Yr dow close cpi adjusted to 1966
    1966 983 -
    1969 985 892.77
    1973 1020 768.74
    1977 1005 556.66
    1981 1004 383.46

    2005 11000 1877.60

    So much for investing….

  28. Richqrd January 26, 2006 10:00 am

    Intereresting comparison of periods. Events are never repeated but the constant of human nature gives similar results as you point out. I have used computer flow diagrams to sort through history. Using this technique treats history as a series of decisions, influences and interests. Recommend that you try it. Works like a champ sorting through the chaff created by historians, etc.

  29. Greg January 26, 2006 11:46 am

    Good on you! While reading your article, I thought back to many of my youthful ideas regarding such political/social/economic issues. I think in a very real sense our government, the people we elect to carry out our collective will, is a direct reflection of our own values. And I see the current ‘rapture’ with money, greed,and power the tip of the iceberg, as both cause and effect.

    Now is a transition time where we, especially as voters and citizens, need to gather up our minds and hearts for an attempt to bring back into the world our best values of honesty, compassion, hard work, and good will. When this happens, things will turn quickly. We need to point our leaders in a different and better direction.

  30. rich domingue January 26, 2006 12:28 pm

    Your essay is wonderful. I am 54 and in April 1973 was among the crowd at a Washington D.C. peace rally with Ernie Kovaks and apparently John Kerry (I did not see him among the hundreds of thousands there). The biggest difference between then and now was that American soldiers were principally draftees and our protests were more personal because we might be drafted ourselves. Also, the civil rights and equal rights movements were at their zeniths, a new Awakening was occurring and there were lots of ‘Jesus Freaks’ among the protesters. Such protests were probably a better place to find sex partners than bars or parties. The desire to ‘Make Love Not War’ was palpable. Yipee.

    The young were not concerned about economic downturns, although we were undoubtedly affected. We were far too concerned about dying. Nixon was seen as evil incarnate. He had just beaten George McGovern, a dove, and the spectre of four more years of war and death was overwhelming. The emerging Watergate scandal seemed a silly issue when this criminal was killing so many and, for me at least, the fact that such a minor flaw finally brought him down seemed positively Shakespearian. If, in the end, illegal wiretaps lead to the end for George W. Bush, not his illegal war and blatant corruption I may become convinced that George Santaya and William Shakespeare rule the universe. Let us pray.

    P.S. Last year I moved most of my liquid assets into GLD after I became convinced that the dollar was worth about as much as the ink and paper it was printed on.

  31. John Watters January 26, 2006 1:17 pm

    Here is a link to a short video which takes this one step further.

  32. Teri Pittman January 26, 2006 1:37 pm

    I’m 55 and I remember all this clearly. And I see the same stuff all over again. The same irrational hatred of the president. The same mistakes that were okay when done by a democratic president now are impeachable offenses for a republican one. I’ve come to see that old power hungry Tricky Dick voluntarily gave up power twice–once when Kennedy stole the election and again during Watergate, to keep the country from being torn apart.

    At some point, after hearing the same thing over and over from the Left, you start to question what they are saying. I no longer believe what they said about Nixon, although I hated him at the time. I certainly don’t buy what they say about Bush.

  33. John Williams January 26, 2006 1:41 pm

    For someone so young, you have done a great job describing those times.

    I was a college student (engineering) at the time, working my way through school as a TV repairman. One of the strongest memories of my life is of watching the Senate’s Watergate hearings on TV. There was a lingering dread that Nixon might get away with his criminal activity, including all the cover-up lies, and that our great nation would no longer be one of laws. We were so much more idealistic then. Having to live in a society governed by a President who would tell a self-serving lie was an abhorrent concept.

    What a vastly different time we live in now. After five year’s of Bush/Cheney, we all accept that the President spins and bends the truth. When that’s not effective, he’ll tell a giant, whopper of a lie and dare anyone to be ‘unpatriotic’ enough to call him on it.

    I don’t think we will get off as ‘easily’ this time around. This time, the President and his allies control all the levers of power (Presidency, Congress, Supreme Court and Mass Media). I think only major damage, afflicting most of the populace, can stop Bush’s steamroller. Until then, not enough people will notice that “the emperor has no clothes”.

    As for recovering, post-Bush, it depends. If the end comes dramatically and soon, we will have enough good people and enough memories to build a new nation, following the ideals of the old one. If the end comes slowly, we may be trapped in perpetual darkness, like the Russians seem to be.

  34. Brett January 26, 2006 2:06 pm

    I’m only 21 years old so i have no idea what it was like back then. But i can say thanks to your article i have a much better perspective and understanding of the magnitude of the Bush’s lies. SO i would just like to say thank you for writing this and keep it coming ill be returning for more enlightenment.

  35. PeterR January 26, 2006 5:07 pm

    I regard George W. Bush and his entire administration as war criminals who must be face trial in an international criminal court.
    However my greatest concern for the American people has to do with the entire body of “elected” representatives. This group represents nothing less than a ruling class of aristocrats who have become embedded in the essential power structures of your nation.
    The lack of effort by your Democrats is not surprising at all. What we are seeing at the political national level is not a defense of the people but an elaborate strategic negotiation by the elite in establishing a royal family and an equitable power sharing agreement amongst themselves.
    The general public are surfs and will be more vigorously and more blatantly put under the thumb of this American aristocracy as the coming months will reveal.
    You are fooling yourselves if you think you live in a democracy any longer and that you can effect a change in your favour at election time.

  36. Ahoeffler January 26, 2006 6:06 pm

    I am reminded almost daily of the parallel course of events from the 70’s and today. It is so overwhelming that upon reading a headline in a newspaper or on a news website I often have a visceral flashback to some life event that occurred then. Ex: I remember being sent home from my job at Sears Roebuck. They were about to close the large suburban shopping mall I worked at because the utiity company was OUT OF NATURAL GAS! This occurred in upstate New York in February! It’s true, history does not repeat, it rhymes. What worries me most is not that this period is reminiscent of the 70’s, but that it is like 1928, to be followed by 1929, and then by 1939.

  37. Joe January 26, 2006 6:47 pm

    I was born in ‘49. The main difference seems to be that Tricky Dick didn’t have the internet Blogs to contend with. I expect you’ll bring this set of crooks down faster than the Washington Post could manage alone. Give’em Hell!


  38. Dennis January 26, 2006 7:20 pm

    Not even close to the Vietnam era.For one the media is much more bias and knows much more. Our military is technically 10 times more superior than any in the world.Today we do not go to war to protect the U.S. people. We go to protect the largest Corporations who do business with everyone in the world. Al the lies and deceit are srictly for monatary gain of those in power. Bush is actually a refreshing change.Largely because he comes from a very rich family with old money.The world today is about conservation of limited resources and changeing energy alternatives. Yesterday it was about the controlling of the largest oil fields in the world in the middle east.
    Today we say that we are sorry that we were so dumb. Tomorrow we may pay for it. But this generation in the teens and twenties will never know. Just we in our 50s and sixties will never know what it was like to evolve from horse and carriage to Autos and trains and planes.
    Communication and the internet will change the educational system and those who do not want it will continue to thwart it.Life will continue on but differnt for different reasons.Gold is really liable to become a currancy of choice as is silver.No government can be trusted to contain paper instruments from inflation. It is just to human to want to be on par with the wealthy materialistically. It will take generations to become star war warriors under one world govt. It is quite possibly an unsurvivable ordeal unless a major breakthrough in energy or time and space travel evolves. Not to think of the earth itself changing without warning.

  39. Eustace January 26, 2006 8:49 pm

    There is so much overwhelming evidence to prove that this country, and indeed the world, is run by a cabal of old world families that control the banking system, so why are so many of you here discussing this topic seemingly in denial of the simple fact that there is clearly a much larger agenda playing out than what the puppet US president is seen doing, or what the media is saying?

    Is everyone here really willing to believe that Nixon was brought down because of what happened in the Watergate building?

    Do you all believe the written history of major events in the past couple of centuries? What do you make of the JFK assasination, or is it too crazy to think about?

    Surely in the interest of finding the truth these subjects should be debated with a certain amount of cynicism regarding the conventional wisdom and what we’ve been led to believe by a well controlled media?

    How do you bloggers process and reconcile the Council on Foriegn Relations, the Bilderbergers, the Trilateralists, the Federal Reserve system of money creation?

    What do these institutions and organizations mean to us. Why was Paul Wolfowitz made head of the World Bank, and what happened to the debt that was forgiven to African nations? Which banks contributed those funds to the World Bank and then who wrote them off?

    How did Citi Corp become the most profitable corporation in the world, and is it a coincidence that it is also the largest shareholder of the NY Fed?

    How can former heads of states be members of an investment bank like Carlyle and have such a huge influence on global events, profit massively from destruction, and get away with it?

    Why have so many seemingly intelligent people got their heads buried in the sand?

  40. Christopher Paul January 26, 2006 8:57 pm

    YO,How come we only get serious about our country when the economy is in trouble. When times are good, nobody asks about all the people that got screwed by our insane foriegn policiy.I didn’t.I just pumped my cheap gas,lit one up and partied. This is all blowback dudes. It’s the end of empire,so kick back and watch this movie play out.Oh yeah,I wasin Viet Nam when Nixon took over. Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss. With the possible exception of Carter, ain’t a dimes worth of difference between any of’em since. Chris

  41. muleskinner January 27, 2006 2:41 pm

    Back in 1973 I was actually making some money and being able to hang onto some of it. Today, it flies out the window faster than it comes in. Big difference.

    Your money is worthless.

  42. Greg Pinelli January 28, 2006 5:22 pm

    The comparison between 1973 and the present is ill informed and demonstrates a serious lack of historical and ethical perspective. Nixon, who was otherwise one of the most astute politicians in American history, had a paranoid side. Most of the respondents on this site should be able to relate to that!
    Nixon didn’t need to engineer the Watergate break in…..he already had the election in the palm of his hand. Those who compare his action to anything George Bush has done really need to slap some sense into themselves. If International calls suspected of terrorist linkage are being tapped…so what? America is laughed at not because we are too aggressive, but because we continually nit pick ourselves and seem unable to come together on the idea we deserve to be defended!
    So here is a suggestion…all the white Middle aged liberals who frequent this site and hate Bush sit in a quiet corner somewhere and think of how much respect for your person you’d receive at the hands of a guerilla band of Islamic terrorists. I’m positive they’d let you call your lawyer….don’t ya think???

  43. Administrator January 28, 2006 6:51 pm

    Hey Greg,

    Thanks for posting to my blog. I really appreciate it, both that you took the time, and that we live in a free country that allows for open debate between people with differing opinions. I firmly believe that this is what makes our country great, and as a fellow citizen, I think you would agree on that point.

    Furthermore, you are right - Nixon didn’t have to do what he did; he would have won the election handily anyway. That is the idiocy of it and I believe that is part of the reason why this comparison is so fitting. Bush didn’t need to break the law either - he could have easily gotten warrants for the spying he wanted to do. Everyone knows this, including him. So why did he break the law? Was it laziness? Or arrogance? Or something worse? Nixon was paranoid, but what about Bush? Why did he knowingly break the law?

    I fully agree that “international calls suspected of terrorist linkage” should be monitored. We all want to be protected from terrorists. However, this country is, and has always been based on law, and the idea that *no one* is above the law, not even the President. There is a legal procedure that Bush could have gone through to do what he did. If he did not like the law as it is, he could have worked to change the law.

    I wouldn’t say that the readers of my site are paranoid. I would say that they are concerned, prudent, and watchful. They know that this great country is built on the rule of law, and that without the rule of law, the traditions that have been carefully built up over the last 200+ years could crumble very quickly. Our democracy is fragile, and it requires everlasting vigilance to maintain. I do not hate George Bush, and I was careful not to put anything in the article to imply such a thing, so I’m not sure how you got that impression. I am simply doing what every patriotic American should be doing, which is questioning the government. In a democracy, there is no “us” versus “them.” WE are the government. The government derives its legitimate power from US – the American people. If it usurps the source of that power, the government then becomes illegitimate. As good Americans, we need to take responsibility for keeping an eye on what our government is doing.

    So how is the “terrorist linkage?” being defined? We have no idea. It is a secret. We do know that Homeland Security is already intercepting private mail: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10740935/ This Administration seems to have a lot of secrets. They won’t open the books on their dealing of Hurricane Katrina, either. Why is that? It has nothing to do with war or national security, so why is that?

    Mind you, I am not a Democrat or a Republican. Fuck those false distinctions – they don’t mean a thing anymore. What kind of choice did we have between Bush and Kerry – both Yale men, both Skull and Bones? There is no difference, and I would and will be just as hard on a Democratic president because in my mind, they are no different. They both serve their corporate masters. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    And before you mock the treatment you think terrorists would give a prisoner, consider the case of Jose Padilla. He is an AMERICAN CITIZEN, who was arrested in Chicago, and held incommunicado in a South Carolina military brig without bail, without a lawyer, without being charged, and without any trial. He is “suspected of being a terrorist.”

    Think about this for a second, Greg Pinelli - what do you know about this guy except what the government says - that he is a terrorist? Next time it could be your ass in the brig. Maybe they need to make an example out of someone, maybe they don’t like the way you look so they say Greg Pinelli is a terrorist, and he is dangerous, so we’re putting him in jail. And you’re there in your little cell, can’t call your lawyer, can’t talk to the press, and your rights of habeas corpus have been suspended, because suddenly you’re a “suspected terrorist.” Think it couldn’t happen to you? Think that is paranoia? It already happened to Jose Padilla, your fellow American Citizen.

    The *extremely* conservative CATO institute says:

    Consider this specious logic, endorsed by the Bush administration: Under the Sixth Amendment, the right to counsel does not apply until charges are filed. The government has not charged Padilla. Ordinarily, U.S. citizens cannot be detained without charge. But the administration has avoided that technicality by designating Padilla as an “enemy combatant,” then proclaiming that the court may not second-guess his designation.

    Essentially, on orders of the executive branch, anyone could wind up imprisoned by the military with no way to assert his innocence. That frightening prospect was echoed by J. Harvie Wilkinson, the respected and steadfastly conservative chief judge of the Fourth Circuit. In a case involving another U.S. citizen, Yaser Hamdi, Wilkinson warned, “With no meaningful judicial review, any American citizen alleged to be an enemy combatant could be detained indefinitely without charges or counsel.” Judge Wilkinson upheld Hamdi’s detention but pointedly noted that Hamdi’s battlefield capture was like “apples and oranges” compared to Padilla’s arrest in Chicago. “We aren’t placing our imprimatur upon a new day of executive detentions,” Wilkinson cautioned.


    So you see my friend, this is what I am fighting against, and trying to raise awareness about. For you, for me, for all American Citizens that we not forget our roots, and what our country is based on. Because if we change our principles because of the terrorists, become less free, become violators of human rights – basically become like the terrorists themselves, then we have lost and they have won.

    But maybe you trust that Bush will do the right thing (even after we didn’t find WMD in Iraq, and after it turned out that there was no connection between Osama and Saddam). I don’t hate the guy, but that doesn’t mean I trust him, either. Remember, this is the guy that said:

    Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires — a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we’re talking about chasing down terrorists, we’re talking about getting a court order before we do so. It’s important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution.


    So what gives? If that is not a bald-faced lie, I don’t know what is. And if we caught him in that red-handed lie, then how many others are there? This is why we need a government of laws, and not of men, as Archibald Cox reminded us during Watergate.

    What I am about is trying to go deeper, to the real roots of the issue. Not - how do we defeat the terrorists? But - why do we have terrorists in the first place? Look at how many of our yesteryear friends have become our enemies today. Don’t forget that Iraq was once our friend. Don’t forget that *we* - the US Government - trained Osama bin Laden. That is not urban myth — that is fact. We needed him to help us fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. So why did they turn on us? Don’t give me Bush’s simplistic, “They hate us because we’re free” answer. That is an answer of denial - a soundbite for the masses. If you want to know the truth - look deeper. Look at the nations of South America - they are turning against us in a big way. Why do you think it is? Because we are free? Come on now – don’t repeat to me a spoon-fed answer that you heard on TV! The answers are out there. People don’t like to look deeper - they are satisfied with the superficial answers because they don’t like what they’ll see if they just dig a little bit. They will find something uncomfortable and terribly rotten.

    A good place to start is with the book “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.” Basically, the little countries of the world are tired of having US companies exploit their resources, and the CIA overthrowing any governments that try to get in the way of that. Just like in Iran, 1952. The CIA overthew a democratically elected government, and installed the Shah - a terribly repressive government. So the 1979 revolution and the Hostage Crisis, and what we see today, is all blowback from 1952, man! I’m sure we’ll see it again with Saudi Arabia, in time.

    So maybe you think I’m paranoid. All I am doing is looking at what has gone before in History. Remember that Germany was a democracy, too, before they basically said to Hitler - OK be a dictator - FOR OUR OWN GOOD! The only way to stop the silent creep of power is by enforcing the laws that are on the books. By reminding ourselves that we are a nation of laws, not of men.

    Many people know that the Iraq war was all about the oil, and dismiss it at that. But if it is all about the oil, then we need to get the oilmen out of power. Our regime profits personally from what is going on - I don’t know if you accept that, or not. But that is basically treason - taking the nation to war for their personal gain, while giving the terrorists a reason to hate our country.

    If we can put a man on the moon, we can develop an alternative to oil. But we have to have the will. And the country will never have the will if the fat cat leaders have no incentive to change their ways. Ergo - GIVE THEM INCENTIVE TO CHANGE - i.e., make them follow the laws that are on the books, and if they refuse, impeach them, and get some people in power who understand the problems and who want to address them. And I would appreciate every patriotic American’s help in this matter.


  44. muleskinner January 29, 2006 1:34 pm

    those bands of guerilla jihadists are running amuck in the cities and towns throughout all of the Americas. Run for your lives.


  45. mike January 29, 2006 7:57 pm

    Greg says:
    “So here is a suggestion…all the white Middle aged liberals who frequent this site and hate Bush sit in a quiet corner somewhere and think of how much respect for your person you’d receive at the hands of a guerilla band of Islamic terrorists. I’m positive they’d let you call your lawyer….don’t ya think???”


    You really don’t understand “true” Americans, do you?

    No knife carrying extremists will ever take us down, if you’re so inclined to believe that story.

    Bio attack? Nukes? anthrax scare?


    We’ll still be here, only we will be looking for more than just terrorists next time.

  46. Eustace January 29, 2006 8:35 pm


    Try reading House of Bush, House of Saud. Then tell everyone here who you think the president is working for, us or himself.

    What a joke!

  47. Lucien January 29, 2006 11:39 pm

    In reference to #20 by Nish, this is the sort of brain dead B.S. that makes the left sound so incredibly stupid or
    worse (incredibly dangerous). “…hopefully the start of a new beginning where all wealth and resources are respectfully shared amongst all human beings equally.”
    Someone needs to inject some street smarts into this guy.
    First of all in a world where “all wealth and resources are shared equally” there is no wealth and painfully few resources. This goes against fundamental human nature.
    In an enviornment where everyone is forced to be equal
    (and make no mistake about it, the only way to ‘make’ everybody equal is by force, this destroys any reason to work hard to advance yourself-because you are not allowed to) painfully little work or productivity is done, since there’s no point (no pay off) unless of course you are forced to work at the point of a gun. Chain gang/slavery.
    This is communism. It doesn’t work. Get off this John Lennon stupidity. Think of the mechanics needed to make/force these things to happen. Not pretty at all.
    There was a saying decades ago. “Better dead than Red.”
    There was good reason why many people felt this way. They had thought it through and didn’t like what they found.

  48. muleskinner January 30, 2006 6:27 am

    “Better dead than Red” is now “Better dead than Red State.”

    After the Bolsheviks did away with the farmers in the Soviet Union, which was hardly communism and more nihilism, the crops sat in the fields unharvested for three years. The ‘collectivists’ ran the machinery into the ground, and it sat in the fields broken down and unusable.

    The morphed so-called ‘Republicans’ are much like the so-called communists from the 1917 revolution. That is why they are now referred to as ‘Busheviks.’ They are laying waste to the Republic.

    The lunatics are in charge of the asylum. Anyone who dares to call themselves a so-called Republican these days is crazy as a loon.

    Wealth is applied knowledge, simple as that.

    When the Native Americans from the southeastern US where extirpated via the Indian Removal Act of 1830, they took along with them 15,000 black slaves when they traveled along the Trail of Tears. They were good at tracking down runaway slaves and returning them to their owners. It brought them a good living back then.

    Hiram Revels was the first black US Senator. He was also half Native American. Also, there were black plantation owners in the Antebellum South who owned their own slaves. New Orleans was home to some 3000 black people who also owned slaves. It ain’t no bed of roses here in the turbulent US of A.

    Capitalism has serious flaws, too. October 29, 1929 is a clear testimonial of that. You’re not going to win them all. These days, think ‘Lysenkoism.’

  49. Mr. X February 1, 2006 11:56 am


    More people read & distribute information from your website than you can possibly imagine. Keep up the good work…you are a true Patriot.

    - X

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