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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Nixon

Walking the line…

3.28 Renminbi (about 49 cents)-- the per capita poverty line in China-- in peanuts

Beijing-based photographer Stefen Chow has produced an arresting series of photos illustrating the tangible reality of poverty:

This body of work explores a simple question. What is the poverty line in a country?

We decided to generally calculate a per-person, per-day rate of a national poverty line, and to create a visual portrayal of items found in that country that could be bought by a person living at the poverty line.

 This is not an emotional analysis of what it means to be poor. It is an examination of the choices one would face being poor. This is an ongoing project, with the first series understanding China, Japan, Nepal and Thailand. We have since expanded this project and have gone to five continents. We are not trying to compare different countries’ poverty, but rather to have a starting point to understand poverty within a country’s context.

Everything else is left up to interpretation.

… though the viewer notes that the local newspapers that provide the background for each shot (and their enticing advertisements) offer an ironic counterpoint to the sparse reality of life on the poverty line.

See samples of the collection here. And then check out  Jonathan Blaustein’s similar project, Value of a Dollar.

[TotH to GOOD]

As we count our pennies blessings, we might recall that it was on this date in 1972 that Richard M. Nixon arrived in China to begin the historic 8-day visit that ended 25 years of separation between the two countries; it was the first time a U.S. president had visited the PRC.

 Mao Zedong and Nixon (source)

As we prepare for Holiday travel…

 

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“Pilots and co-pilots on many airlines are required to eat different meals to minimize the effects of food poisoning if it should occur…”  Says it all.

[TotH to DoobyBrain]

 

As we unwrap the food that we carried on, we might recall that it was on this date in 1970 that The President met The King: Richard M. Nixon welcomed Elvis Presley into the Oval Office.  Two days after meeting Vice President Spiro Agnew in Palm Springs, Presley flew to D.C., and headed unannounced to the White House (with two bodyguards), where he presented the Marine guard with a hand-written letter to Nixon offering his services in the War on Drugs.   The leatherneck got permission to admit The King, but having recognized him, apparently didn’t search him:  on meeting Nixon, Presley pulled out an antique Colt .45 which he presented to the President as a token of his commitment to the cause.  Some weeks later, Nixon offered Presley an official position in the Administration’s anti-drug campaign.

Six and a half years later, Presley died of heart failure, attributed by the coroner’s report to “undetermined causes.”  It’s widely believed, however, that his death was caused by a lethal mix of a variety of prescription drugs and obesity.

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Written by LW

December 21, 2011 at 1:01 am

Infographics to live by…

 

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[TotH to KJMc]

 

As we consider ourselves handy, we might recall that it was on this date in 1969 that Spiro T. Agnew, then Richard Nixon’s Vice President, emerged as the face of the Administration’s aggressive “best defense is a good offense” strategy of response to critics.

Agnew had already given other tough speeches, lambasting “liberal intellectuals” and labeling anti-Vietnam War protestors “impudent snobs.”  But 42 years ago on this date, Agnew delivered a talk in Des Moines, written for him by Nixon’s own speech writer, Patrick Buchanan, blasting the national news media– the television networks– as an unelected elite with “a virtual monopoly of a whole medium of communication.”  The wide coverage of his talk encouraged Agnew to amp up the invective; thus, subsequent speeches gave the language such phrases as “nattering nabobs of negativism.”

Agnew relished his celebrity, and was tolerated in it by Nixon:  as the clouds of Watergate gathered, Agnew was, Nixon noted, “impeachment insurance”; no one, Nixon believed, wanted to remove him if it meant elevating Agnew to the presidency.  And indeed, the U.S. Senate’s history site suggests, it was effective insurance… at least, until Agnew was caught up in a bribery and corruption scandal dating from his days as a Maryland politician, and was forced to resign as part of his plea deal.

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Written by LW

November 13, 2011 at 1:01 am

Getting small…

Over the years, (R)D has contemplated miniature paintingsminiature Biblical temples, miniature pencil carvings, even miniature golf

Now, something even closer to your correspondent’s heart: miniature books.

Miniature books (generally defined as not exceeding 100 mm [3.9 inches] in height, width or thickness) first came into fashion in the late Fifteenth Century, when the tiny tomes were produced as novelties. Soon, printers began producing the small volumes to show off their skills.

Hungarian collector Jozsef Tari has been collecting miniature books and newspapers since 1972; his library now includes more than 4500 volumes of Lilliputian literature.

More on miniature books and Tari’s collection at Web Urbanist (from whence, the photos above).

As we reach for a smaller duster, we might bake a laced cake for journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson; he was born in Louisville on this date in 1929.  The author of Hell’s Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 is widely credited as the creator of the Gonzo school of journalism (an extreme form of New Journalism in which the reporter isn’t simply present, he/she is central), and widely remembered for his love of inebriates and guns and for his hate of authoritarianism in general and Richard Nixon in particular.

…the massive, frustrated energies of a mainly young, disillusioned electorate that has long since abandoned the idea that we all have a duty to vote. This is like being told you have a duty to buy a new car, but you have to choose immediately between a Ford and a Chevy.
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72  (1973)

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Keep those cards and letters coming…

for larger version, click image above (or here), and then click again

Readers will recall earlier visits to Letters of Note (“correspondence deserving of a wider audience”).  That wonderful site now has company– and official company at that.

The letter-of-request above*, and tens of thousands of other historically- and politically-interesting documents can now be found at the Online Public Access Prototype of the National Archives.

* One notes that, while the Vice President’s response to Disney was “schedule too tight,” later President Nixon used Disney World as the venue for his “I am not a crook” speech…

[TotH to GMSV]

As we sharpen our quills, we might recall that it was on this date in 1972 (months before his Disney World performance) that President Nixon signed the bill authorizing $5.5 million to develop the Space Shuttle program– NASA’s main focus from that point until President Obama’s recent redirection.

Nixon with NASA Administrator James Fletcher and a model of spacecraft-to-come (Source: NASA)

A puppet on a string…

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The latest performance by Royal de Luxe– the French mechanical marionette street theater company– took place last month in Guadalajara, Mexico as part of the Celebrando el Centenario de la Revolución Mexicana, and featured The Mexican Giant, the dog Xolo and the Little Indian Girl (more photos and video here).  Extraordinaire!

Via the wonderful Laughing Squid.

As look carefully around us for the strings, we might recall that it was on this date in 1962 that Pravda excoriated Western art as degenerate and bourgeois.  Days before, at an exhibiton at the Manege in Moscow, Premier Nikita Khrushchev had attacked the Modernist paintings of Pavel Kuznetsov and Robert Falk, pronouncing them “dog sh*t.” Khrushchev was so revolted by an Ernst Neizvestny sculpture– an Expressionist female nude– that he called the artist a “fag” to his face, then added, “We give ten years for that.”  Undaunted, Neizvetny insisted that the gallery bring him a girl so he could set the dictator straight.

Eliott Erwitt’s famous photo of Nixon “correcting” Khrushchev’s views on Pollack (source)

Democracy in action…

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Alvin Greene came (literally) out of nowhere to win the Democratic primary race to face Tea Party champion Jim DeMint for the honor of representing your correspondent’s home state in the Senate.  Wonkette reports on the result achieved last Tuesday by the candidate who never really campaigned, raised funds, hired a staff, nor for that matter, explained who in the world he is, and whose most news-worthy achievement during the campaign was to be indicted for showing pornographic pictures to a college student, then asking about going back to her room:

Presented without commentary, here are some of the Senate candidates who received fewer votes than Alvin Greene did yesterday, according to the most current AP numbers:

Senator Harry Reid: 361,655
Senator-elect Mike Lee: 360,050
Alvin Greene: 358,069
Sharron Angle: 320,996
Senator Mike Crapo: 318,468
Senator-elect Joe Manchin: 281,661
Senator Blanche Lincoln: 280,167
Senator John Thune: 227,903
Senator Daniel Inouye: 276,867
Senator-elect Kelly Ayotte: 265,967
Senator-elect John Hoeven: 181,409
Senator-elect Chris Coons: 173,900
Senator Patrick Leahy: 145,486
Senator Lisa Murkowski (Total Write-In): 81,876
Joe Miller: 68,288

Yes, yes– your correspondent appreciates that the states in question are not all the same size… still…

As we wonder when someone will get around to investigating the functioning of the electronic voting machines used in the primary in which Greene emerged, we might recall that it was on this date in 1968 that Richard Nixon’s “Silent Majority” strategy paid off:  after losing to John F. Kennedy in 1960 and then Pat Brown (in a run for Governor of California two years later), he defeated Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace to become the 37th President of the United States.  It was one of the closest elections in history, decided by under 500,000 votes.

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