TRIVIA QUESTION: Why Did The President Visit The Lincoln Memorial at 4 am?

 

 

QUESTION:  Over four million students participated in a national strike which closed 458 college campuses, and 34 ROTC buildings were burned or bombed. The National Guard was deployed on 26 campuses, and Washington, DC was described as “an armed camp.” uses were parked bumper to bumper to form a protective barricade around the White House. At an evening televised press conference the President was asked if it was possible to have a meaningful dialogue with students.
The President told the nation he wanted to try. Without telling anyone, the next morning he arrived at the Lincoln Memorial at 4:14 am to meet with the surprised demonstrators for 90 minutes. The scene was recreated in a six minute segment in a 1995 Oliver Stone movie. What event caused the student outrage? Who was the President, and what extraordinary message did he have for the students?

ANSWER:  The movie was “Nixon” and the turmoil began on April 30, 1970 with the announcement of a military incursion into Cambodia. President Richard Nixon described the operation in a televised address and said it was designed to wipe out two North Vietnamese sanctuaries. He pointed to a map which described the areas as the “fish hook’ and the “parrot’s beak.” The students and many liberal activists viewed this as a widening of the war, and demonstrations were immediately organized on numerous campuses.  Four students were killed by the National Guard at Kent State University on May 4th, and the reaction was a strike which closed down 458 campuses.
In Washington, DC, presidential speechwriter Ray Price said “mobs were smashing windows, slashing tires, dragging parked cars into intersections, even throwing bedsprings off overpasses into the traffic down below. This was the quote, student protest. That’s not student protest, that’s civil war.”The 82nd Airborne Division was camped out in the basement of the Old Executive Office Building and they were ready to protect the Oval Office. Students stormed the president’s office on many campuses and the Secret Service was worried about an attack on the White House.
Because of security concerns, Nixon spent two days at Camp David and returned on May 7th to meet with presidents of eight major universities. The next morning approximately 200 AFL-CIO construction workers attacked over 1000 student demonstrators in lower Manhattan. It was called “The Hard Hat Riot.” That evening (May 8th), Nixon had a televised press conference and the first of over 100,000 students began to gather at the Lincoln Memorial for a large anti-war demonstration the next day. At the press conference Nixon said:

I have not been surprised by the intensity of the protests. I realize those who are protesting believe this decision will expand the war, increase American casualties, and increase American involvement. Those who protest want peace. They want to reduce American casualties and they want our boys brought home.
I made the decision, however, for the very reasons they are protesting. . . I know what I have done will accomplish the goals they want. It will shorten this war. It will reduce American casualties. It will allow us to go forward with our withdrawal program. The 150,000 Americans that I announced for withdrawal in the next year will come home on schedule. It will, in my opinion, serve the cause of a just peace in Vietnam.
Nixon was then asked: “Do you believe you can open up meaningful communications with this college-age generation, and how?” He responded “I would like to try as best I can to do that. It is not easy. Sometimes they talk so loudly it is difficult to be heard. . .  However, on an individual basis, I believe it is possible to do what I have been doing, to bring representatives of the college and university communities to my office, to talk with them, to have a dialogue. . .
The students are trying to say they want peace. They are trying to say they want to stop the killing. They are trying to say they want to end the draft. They are trying to say we ought to get out of Vietnam. I agree with everything they are trying to accomplish.
“I believe, however, the decisions I have made, and particularly this last terribly difficult decision of going into the Cambodian sanctuaries which were completely occupied by the enemy–I believe that decision will serve that purpose, because you can be sure everything I stand for is what they want.”

Anthony Hopkins portrayed the late President in the 1995 Oliver Stone movie “Nixon.” The movie recreates the 90 minute discussion with students at the Lincoln Memorial.

When he arrived at the Lincoln Memorial, Nixon spoke to the students about the war, and he also talked about “the qualities of spirit, emotion, and the depth and spirit of life”. He told them once he had been a pacifist, and prior to WW II he thought Churchill was wrong, and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was right. At first he thought Churchill was a madman but he later viewed him as a protector of peace. He praised the students for their commitment to civil rights and the environment. He said they had the right priorities and too many people were focused on materialism:

You must remember that something which is completely clean can also be completely sterile and without spirit. What we all must think about is why we are here. . . Ending the war, cleaning up the streets, the air and water is still not going to solve the spiritual hunger we all have.  This is the greatest mystery of life from the beginning of time.

The presidential motorcade left the Lincoln Memorial at 5:55 am and drove to the deserted U.S. Capitol. Nixon was giving his valet, Manolo Sanchez, a tour. They visited the Rotunda, Statuary Hall and the House Chamber before departing at 6:40 am.The story is told in Richard Nixon and his America by Herbert Parmet, Little Brown (1989), 786 pages.

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Flip-Flop: Do Not Believe Ron Paul’s Right to Life Rhetoric

 

Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Ron Paul (R-TX) are both competing for the support of anti-abortion conservatives and evangelicals in the Iowa presidential precinct caucuses.

Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) has always claimed to be a right to life advocate, and this will be a major theme in his 2012 presidential campaign. He is already portraying himself as an anti-abortion champion in Iowa and South Carolina. The Texan says “I believe beyond a doubt that a fetus is a human life deserving of legal protection,” and he is now repeating that message in front of many anti-abortion organizations.

Abortion and the 2012 Campaign

The Congressman has gained considerable support since his 2008 campaign, and this is especially true among young people. Many of the Congressman’s views are controversial, but Republicans who dismiss him are making a mistake. The unofficial 2012 Ron Paul campaign has the enthusiasm, dedication and money to attract 20% of the vote in the first five GOP primaries leading into the 14 state Super Tuesday.

The lawmaker will be 77 next year and will not be nominated, but he clearly has the potential to be a kingmaker. The libertarians could well determine the GOP nominee, platform and future direction of the party.

The Paul strategy is to move beyond his libertarian base and to gather support from the Tea Party and religious right. Evangelicals have long dominated Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential precinct caucuses, and social issues will continue to be their dominant concern.

The religious right is also strong in South Carolina, 28 New Hampshire state legislators belong to Paul’s Republican Liberty Caucus, and the Congressman’s best state in 2008 was Nevada where he came in second.

To achieve his goals Paul has been emphasizing his record as a social conservative. He has made many impressive statements in support of the pro-life movement, but his base of support is the Libertarian Party which has always been pro-abortion.

Paul is able to straddle both groups with his “Sanctity of Life Act”. The Congressman can tell right-to-lifers he has the best legislation to achieve their goal, and at the same time he can assure his libertarian base that they have nothing to worry about, and abortion will continue to be legal. Rep. Paul says:

I’m surprised I don’t have more co-sponsors for my Sanctity of Life Act. It removes the jurisdiction from the federal courts and allows the states to pass protection to the unborn. Instead of waiting years for a Constitutional Amendment, this would happen immediately, by majority vote in the Congress and a president’s signature. It’s a much easier way to accomplish this, by following what our Constitution directs us. Instead of new laws.

What the Congressman is not mentioning is that the Sanctity of Life Act is a federal law which would give states the authority to allow abortions. The Congressman is essentially saying he wants it to be legal to kill a child if a state agrees.

He is saying the federal government has no right to tell states what they can do regarding abortion, and this would return the nation to the situation which existed prior to the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. On the one hand the Congressman says the purpose of government is to protect life, and on the other he is saying this should no longer be a federal responsibility. He believes abortion is an act of violence so it should be a state rather than a federal responsibility.

After 38 years of judicial involvement there will have to be a federal solution, so many believe Rep. Paul’s solution is impractical. By returning this issue to the states discriminatory practices would obviously be established. Anti-abortion advocates believe all unborn children deserve a right to life from the moment they are “created”. In other words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Paul: The Federal Government Should Have Nothing To Say About Abortion

Abortion is the first issue discussed in Paul’s new book Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom. Libertarian leader Lew Rockwell, who previously served as the Congressman’s Chief of Staff, discussed Paul’s abortion position in his recent book review: “If a community wants to permit the practice, Dr. Paul’s view is that the federal government should have nothing to say about it either way.” Ron Paul had the same position on slavery and civil rights. He is the only Member of Congress who is opposed to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He believes if a state supported slavery or segregation it should be of no concern to the federal government. He wants the federal government to regulate very few things.

Paul will not acknowledge that human rights trump states’ rights. States’ rights is an important element of the Paul campaign, but states really have powers, not rights. It is the people who have rights.

Paul Opposes Federal Law To Ban Abortion

Similar to many liberal Democrats, the Congressman says he is personally opposed to abortion. They all say we should educate people rather than having restrictive laws. He compares abortion to prohibition, and says laws to restrict alcohol were not effective because you can not force people. In this video he says abortion laws will not work, http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ctsja3awrD4#at=144

The Texan has repeatedly said abortion should be illegal, but does not want to do anything about it. He does not believe there should be any liability for seeking an abortion, and does not support a federal right to life constitutional amendment. He has repeatedly stated that a federal law banning abortion across all 50 states would be invalid. Despite his pro-life rhetoric, Ron Paul says nothing in the Constitution authorizes the federal government to ban abortion, and he opposes such a federal law:http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance194.html

Under the 9th and 10th amendments, all authority over matters not specifically addressed in the Constitution remains with state legislatures. Therefore the federal government has no authority whatsoever to involve itself in the abortion issue. So while Roe v. Wade is invalid, a federal law banning abortion across all 50 states would be equally invalid.

Ron Paul And The 14th Amendment

The pro-life movement wants to end legal abortion, reverse the Roe v. Wade decision, and restore legal protection for unborn children. Some advocate a human life amendment, while others believe the Constitution under the 5th and 14th amendments already provides for legal protection for all human beings. The pro-life movement has long argued that Roe v. Wade could be overturned if the Supreme Court said an unborn child was a “person,” which would then give it protection under the 14th Amendment of 1868 which says:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

This is also unacceptable to Congressman Paul who claims the 14th amendment is part of “the imaginary Constitution.” The 14th amendment was enacted three years after the Civil War and its major motivation was to stop southern states from discriminating against blacks. The equal protection clause meant there could not be one set of rules for whites and another set for blacks. This was used to strike down the separate but equal doctrine advocated by segregationists.

The Libertarian Party Has Always Supported Abortion

Ron Paul was the 1988 Libertarian Party nominee for President. Their official position is “Government should be kept out of the matter of abortion.” Once again, Congressman Paul is “pro-choice for states” on abortion. He believes individual states should be able to legalize abortion if they so choose. The Congressman does not believe pre-born babies have a God given right to their own lives which no individual state may ever violate.

Dictators Agree With Michele Bachmann: End The No Fly Zone and No Weapons For Libyan Rebels

 

 

President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Cuban strongman Fidel Castro both want an immediate end to the no-fly zone in Libya. They also want to stop all arms shipments to the Libyan opposition. Ortega and Castro have both recently called the Libyan leader to express their support for his dictatorship.
Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump and Ron Paul are all in opposition to NATO’s Libyan no-fly zone. They have made many false claims about the Libyan opposition which we previously addressed.
The Libyan rebels are being trained and supplied with military equipment by several Arab states. The Arab League passed a resolution last month in support of the No-Fly Zone, and Qatar has admitted supplying anti-tanks weapons to the rebels. Qatar has also contributed 12 F-16 fighter jets to NATO command. It is believed the rebels have also received equipment from Egypt, Sudan and Saudi Arabia. The Emir of Qatar is marketing Libyan oil, and proceeds will be used to purchase military equipment. The Emir says his motivation is to help secure rights and freedoms for Libyans.
Bachmann, Trump and Paul are also against arms shipments to the rebels because they believe this equipment could fall into the hands of fighters associated with al-Qaeda and Hezbollah. It has been estimated that al-Qaeda represents no more than two percent of the Libyan opposition. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says their presence is miniscule, and the NATO commander says there is only “a flicker” of al-Qaeda activity. These assurances have had no impact on the three GOP candidates.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) says “in our infinite wisdom we gave money, technology and training to Osama bin Laden. . . We went to the taxpayers at the point of a gun and said bin Laden is a great guy. That is what the Congress did in the 1980’s. You pay up, because we think bin Laden is a freedom fighter.” The accusation is false and America did not provide weapons to bin Laden. Those who are making this claim are taking statements completely out of context. An official statement from the CIA says the agency has “never employed, paid, or maintained any relationship whatsoever with Bin Laden.”
The United States supported the Afghan freedom fighters, but the accusation that America financed and equipped the “Afghan Arabs” is completely false. Neither the CIA nor the U.S. military had any relationship with the Afghan Arabs. U.S. officials did not meet with them, there were no discussions, there was no coordinated planning and no joint fighting. The Afghan Arabs joined the effort to rid Afghanistan of Soviet occupation, but they had broader goals. All of this is documented in The Main Enemy: The Inside Story of the CIA’s Final Showdown with the KGB by Milt Bearden.
He served as the CIA station chief in Pakistan from 1986 to 1989, and was in charge of running the covert action program for Afghanistan. The author makes it clear that the CIA covert action program did not fund any Arabs or other Muslims to come to Afghanistan, and says “Contrary to what people have come to imagine, the CIA never recruited, trained, or otherwise used Arab volunteers.”
CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen notes that the “Afghan Arabs functioned independently and had their own sources of funding.” In the book, Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden, Bergen says:

“While the charges that the CIA was responsible for the rise of the Afghan Arabs might make good copy, they don’t make good history. The truth is more complicated, tinged with varying shades of gray. The United States wanted to be able to deny that the CIA was funding the Afghan war, so its support was funneled through Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI).
“ISI in turn made the decisions about which Afghan factions to arm and train, tending to favor the most Islamist and pro-Pakistan. The Afghan Arabs generally fought alongside those factions, which is how the charge arose that they were creatures of the CIA.
“Former CIA official Milt Bearden, who ran the Agency’s Afghan operation in the late 1980s, says: ‘The CIA did not recruit Arabs,’ as there was no need to do so. There were hundreds of thousands of Afghans all too willing to fight, and the Arabs who did come for jihad were ‘very disruptive . . . the Afghans thought they were a pain in the ass.’
“I have heard similar sentiments from Afghans who appreciated the money that flowed from the Gulf but did not appreciate the Arabs’ holier-than-thou attempts to convert them to their ultra-purist version of Islam. [Freelance cameraman] Peter Jouvenal recalls: ‘There was no love lost between the Afghans and the Arabs. One Afghan told me, ‘Whenever we had a problem with one of them we just shot them. They thought they were kings.’
“There was simply no point in the CIA and the Afghan Arabs being in contact with each other. The Afghan Arabs functioned independently and had their own sources of funding. The CIA did not need the Afghan Arabs, and the Afghan Arabs did not need the CIA. So the notion that the Agency funded and trained the Afghan Arabs is, at best, misleading. The ‘Let’s blame everything bad that happens on the CIA’ school of thought vastly overestimates the Agency’s powers, both for good and ill.”

Another excellent source to refute this claim is the late Ayman al-Zawahiri,who was al-Qaeda’s number two leader. He has admitted the Afghan Arabs did not receive any U.S. funding. In Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner, al-Zawahiri says the Afghan Arabs were funded with money from Arab sources: “Bin Ladin apprised me of the size of the popular Arab support for the Afghan mujahidin which amounted, according to his sources, to $200 million in the form of military aid alone in 10 years.”

How Has The United States Senate Changed Since the 19th Century

Henry Clay is depicted speaking to the Senate about the Compromise of 1850. This lithograph shows: 1. Henry Clay (W-KY), 2. Daniel Webster (W-MA), 3. Thomas Hart Benton (D-MO), 4. Lewis Cass (D-MI), 5. William Seward (W-NY), 6. Vice President Millard Fillmore (W-NY), 7. William Dayton (W-NJ), 8. William M. Gwin (D-CA), 9. John C. Calhoun (D-SC), 10. James A. Pearce (W-MD), 11. Robert F. Stockton (D-NJ), 12. Henry S. Foote (D-MS), 13. Stephen A. Douglas (D-IL), 14. Pierre Soule (D-LA), 15. Truman Smith (W-CT), 16. Salmon P. Chase (F-OH), 17. William R. King (D-AL), 18. John Bell (W-TN), 19. James Mason (D-VA), 20. James Cooper (W-PA), 21. Willie Mangum (W-NC), 22. Sam Houston (D-TX). W = Whig, F= Free Soil.

Since 1789 there have been 1,910 Americans who have served as United States Senators. The average length of service is 12.82 years, which is about two terms. In the 19th century many Senators were unable to serve a full six year term, and only a small number of lawmakers were re-elected. Continue reading