Friday, December 29, 2006

"This country has gone to hell on a rocket sled since the pardon," says Noah--and then there's Jerry Ford's work on the Warren Commission

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Our friend Noah passes on these thoughts about the passing of President Ford:

I've been away from my computer machine for several days and here I am catching up at 1:30 am.

I've been struck by a couple of things about the general media's coverage of former President Gerald Ford's death:

(1) Despite how it may or may not have come about, I have always felt that the pardon of Richard Nixon was one of the worst things that ever happened to the social fabric of this country. I have not seen or heard anyone in the media address this other than to spew forth some mindless talking point cliche about healing, which, in reality is the opposite of what the pardon helped bring about.

You see, it has always seemed to me that the pardon of Nixon sent a horrible message to all, particularly younger, Americans. That message was and is that it's perfectly OK for anyone, even the person whose job it is to protect the Constitution, to commit high crimes and misdemeanors, and get away with it. The pardon set a very poor example.

In any group of mammals, no matter how small or large, the Alpha sets the tone, defining what is permissable. In this case, Gerald Ford was the Alpha. The result of the pardon has been a generation of people growing up with a different view of right and wrong, social responsibility, and crime and punishment. On a smaller scale, it's like a kid growing up with a crook for a father setting the family example and then having people wonder whether the kid will grow up to be a thief, a used car dealer setting back the odometers, a counterfeiter, or whatever. There have always been people who twisted ethics. Sometimes it even seems that that is taught in law school.

However, I am of a certain age where I have seen the very way in which people conduct themselves change. Post pardon, things got a lot looser. Locked doors and car alarms became a necessity of modern life after the pardon, not during the so-called wild and crazy 60s.

(2) The other thing that I haven't seen or heard from our media parrots is any mention of the fact that Gerald Ford was a member of the Warren JFK Murder Coverup Commission. I guess that the Warren Commission must be quietly seen as a blot on Ford's career in their eyes, too; something that would detract from their glowing portrait of the man. So, it gets swept under the lumpy carpet. (This reminds me of when Nixon died and the media gave Nixon the credit for ending the Vietnam War but none of the credit for being an architect of it in the first place back in the 1950s.) These things are a case of "All the
News That Fits the Agenda." I also guess Ford thought it was OK to take a pass on fairly and honestly examining the murder of a President in the street, too. No, instead we got now-Senator Arlen Specter's nonsensical Single Bullet Theory crap.

The end result to date has been pardons for Iran Contra, the aforementioned public attitudes towards the flexibility of right and wrong, and, now, a group of despicable clowns in the People's White House (some of which were Ford's proteges) who not only think they are above the law in EVERY way, but are enabled by a media and a country of corporate and religious leaders who just regard the situation as one big laugh fest while they fatten their off-shore accounts at the taxpayers' expense and, in all too many cases, LIVES.

This country has gone to hell on a rocket sled since the pardon and, as it continues to go down hill, it's gaining speed. While this happens, the media hacks give us this day our daily photo-ops and little more. In fact, looking back, the pardon itself shifted the discussion of what Watergate was all about to the pardon and away from any further examination of the Watergate crimes. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. "Just Do It."

As for Gerald Ford being a decent guy? Maybe. At least compared to what we have now, but then, virtually any humanoid on Earth would look good compared to that.