Tag Archives: richard nixon

Friends of Cats

“The Hunger Games” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” come to life


On August 9, 1974, when Nixon resigned the presidency of the United States, I watched the peaceful transition of power from Nixon to Ford. Of course, they were of the same political parties, so peaceful was expected, notwithstanding the Watergate mess and Ford’s pardon of Nixon.

After each presidential election where the new president was of a different political party than the preceding president, I watched a peaceful transition of power, even when it was pretty obvious that the two people pretty much disliked each other. Something about the rule of law….

Whenever a presidential administration moves to far in either direction, left or right, the midterm election usually offers a correction – Clinton in 1994 with gays in the military, Bush in 2002 with weapons of mass destruction, and Obama in 2010 with health insurance.

I’m predicting an explosive correction on November 6, 2018, led by

  • women watching the Kavanaugh confirmation;
  • the young who have experienced mass death and destruction at their schools, movie theaters, and concerts;
  • minorities of all types, including LGBTQ like me;
  • and middle class (is there still a middle class?) people who have lost their health insurance due to actions of the current president (I call him Twitler because, to me, he is an incarnation of Hitler using Twitter as his main means of dividing the populace), lost their livelihood or a significant portion of it due to Twitler’s trade wars.
  • Sure, there will be Republicans (hereafter, “Regressives”) who win, but they will be in areas that have a supermajority of Regressive supporters. I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that even in those areas, the spread will be much lower than usual, and you might even see some moderate Democrats or Independents elected in those areas where the lack of health insurance and income has hit particularly hard.

In today’s world, watching Twitler and his core supporters leads me to believe that there will be no peaceful transition of power this time. They don’t seem to care about anything Twitler does, as long as the blame is placed squarely on Democrats, women, non-Christians, immigrants, blacks, gays, and anyone else who is not straight, white, and Christian. They are violent, as seen in Charlottesville a year ago. They are violent as seen in mass shootings where the shooter always seems to be a “church-going Christian.”

The period between 2018 and 2020 will decide on whether or not there is a peaceful transition of power when Twitler is removed from office in 2020, possibly earlier through impeachment. I really think that Twitler and his ilk will not give up power through peaceful election results. I think there is going to be a Civil War, or at least a very bloody period to rival any war in our past history.

With the Twitler wannabe in Ontario, Canada; Putin and his social media army; and ultra right-wing regressives throughout the world finding a core group of people who hate everyone else, I think we are seeing “The Hunger Games” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” come to life.

With that depressing dissertation, I leave you with cats to help with the depression that I have caused. Starting and ending with, of course, Zoey the Cool Cat; all the other pictures are of cats at Friends of Cats where I volunteer for 1½ hours each day, Sunday through Thursday.

Zoey the Cool Cat welcoming me home
after I had been gone for three hours.
“Welcome home! Now rub my tummy!”
Zoey the Cool Cat

This little one crawled up on my lap, put his head on my chest,
rested his paws on my chest, and stayed that way for 20 minutes.
Friends of Cats

I love pictures of animals with their mouths wide open
because then I can anthropomorphize them.
Friends of Cats

What can be better than being welcomed by a black cat on a white pedestal?
Friends of Cats

One of the office cats, this one ready to answer the phone.
Friends of Cats

Cat yoga.
Friends of Cats

This little one is blind, yet still finds a box.
Friends of Cats

This little gal is in hospice care. She has scratched her neck so badly
that it is raw and bloody. She loves to be petted but it’s difficult to do
because of her condition. Poor little girl.
Friends of Cats

More cat yoga.
When you’re good enough, you can reach out and touch,
uh, Russel’s shoe!
Friends of Cats

Coco welcomes me to her house each day.
Friends of Cats

Anyone know what breed this cat is?
Friends of Cats

I often get up with sunrise intent on going outside and work in my gardens.
Sometimes, Zoey the Cool Cat has blocked my exit, forcing me to call
emergency personnel to rescue me. The only good thing is that I get to
go back to bed while waiting on first responders to arrive. And don’t tell me that I can get out through the windows. They are locked!
Zoey the Cool Cat

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post



This is history, folks, happening right before our eyes

Halls of History

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Is the United States in the midst of a coup?

Britannica defines a coup as “the sudden, violent overthrow of an existing government by a small group,” differing from a revolution in that it happens quickly and doesn’t depend on large numbers of people. Instead, it requires only “a change in power from the top that merely results in the abrupt replacement of leading government personnel.”

One might question whether or not what’s going on is violent. Certainly it’s violent in a way to those who are fearful of President 45—blacks, single women, Muslims and other non-Christians, battered and abused women and children, the hungry, the poor, the sick, the elderly, non-heterosexuals…………..

A presidential election, especially one where there is a change in parties, and where the party of the new administration is the same as the party which controls Congress, the Senate, and the Supreme Court, certain provides a good time for a coup that probably wouldn’t be recognized by a great super majority of anyone in the world except for dictators and kings of other countries, and possibly their citizens.

The United States had a constitutional crisis in 1973-74 with President Richard Nixon, the most recent, perhaps only, attempt in the United States to create a dictatorship or kingship. Jonathan Aitken says in “Nixon: A Life” that of he and his brothers—Harold, Donald, Arthur, and Edward—four of them were named after kings who had ruled in historical or legendary England. It’s well known that President 45 likes kings and dictators.

I was a mere child of 19 in 1974. The crisis resolved itself because of the unique type of republican democracy that is the United States. With its three separate but equal branches of government, its reliance on the rule of law, the fact that Democrats had a 56-42-1-1 majority in the Senate and a 241-192-2 majority in Congress, and the fact that the Supreme Court had ruled 8-0 against Nixon in United States v. Nixon, Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, rather than be impeached.

In a motion to quash the Watergate subpoena earlier in 1974, Nixon’s attorney, James D. St. Clair, stated to Judge John Sirica of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, “The President wants me to argue that he is as powerful a monarch as Louis XIV, only four years at a time, and is not subject to the processes of any court in the land except the court of impeachment.” Wow. Nixon did have an ego.

What do you do, though, when the President 45 has an even bigger ego and his Republican party cohorts are in the majority in the Congress and the Senate, and the Supreme Court is at an impasse with a 4-4 split and with President 45 probably nominating a new justice to the Supreme Court as early as tomorrow?

This is history folks, happening right before our eyes. It might not end well for the United States as we have come to know it.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

America's Finest City mural

But the weather’s great!

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that San Diego is the most muralized city ever. When I arrived in April 1993, the first mural I saw was this one:

America's Finest City mural

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That mural is on the building at 1111 Sixth Avenue, a six-story building.

1111 Sixth Avenue in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

1111 Sixth Avenue map

View Larger Map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

As I entered downtown San Diego each day, the top of the mural, reading “America’s Finest City,” was at eye level because I was at the top of a hill heading down into the heart of the City.

America's Finest City mural

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The mural was painted in 1989 by artists Kathleen King and Paul Naton. It’s an “America’s Finest City” newspaper  with a date of Monday, March 27, 2050. If you take your computer’s calendar to 2050, you’ll find that March 27 is a Sunday. I guess they didn’t have computer calendars in 1989. March 27, 2050, will be the bicentennial of  San Diego’s incorporation as a city.

America's Finest City muralThe unfinished man in the mural looks like Burt Lancaster but is actually Matthew Tighe, a San Diego model who was picked for being the classic “American” to commingle with fourteen ethnic groups which were at the lower area in the mural but are now covered by the newer adjacent building.  Racial tension and multiculturalism were common topics of the late 1980s and early 1990s, still hot topics 20+ years later.

“America’s Finest  City” is a nickname that then-San Diego mayor Pete Wilson gave to the City back in 1972 when the Republican National Convention was supposed to be here. San Diego’s mayor a year earlier, Frank Curran (1912-1992), a Democrat, was against hosting the convention, and San Diego did not even bid for the convention anyway. The prevailing thought at the time was that then-President Richard Nixon wanted the convention here. As far as I can determine from my research, no one knows why San Diego was originally awarded the convention.

San Diego Sports ArenaIn March 1972, with convention preparations well underway, a $400,000 donation to the event by ITT became a major political scandal with national implications. Said to be concerned about the lack of hotel rooms and about the readiness of the San Diego Sports Arena as the convention site, the Republican National Committee (RNC) voted, in May 1972, to move the convention to Miami. The truth, though, emerged years later when federal documents were declassified: President Nixon wanted the convention moved because of his concern about massive protests in San Diego. The physical layout of the Miami Beach location was superior to San Diego for limiting access to the convention area.

By the time the RNC voted to move the convention, millions of dollars had been raised to support the convention, and hotels throughout the area had cleared rooms in mid-August which was, and still is, the most lucrative tourist month here. Planning for security, transportation, events, media accommodations, and modification of the Sports Arena, the convention site, were well under way.

San Diego had elected a new mayor in November 1971, Pete Wilson (b. 1933), a Republican, who was quite unhappy with the RNC’s decision. Wilson thereby proclaimed the week of the convention as “America’s Finest City Week,” giving rise to the city’s unofficial slogan as “America’s Finest City.” A week of multicultural festivities was planned to showcase San Diego at the same time that the nation would be tuned in to the convention in Miami.

America's Finest City Half Marathon & 5KWhen convention week came in August, hundreds of civic, business, military, ethnic, and neighborhood organizations sponsored a great variety of events, including a giant parade, an “America’s Finest City” half-marathon, and an All States Picnic in Balboa Park where San Diegans from different states could mingle with other like-minded citizens who had chosen to leave their home states for San Diego. Some of the events survive to today, 40+ years later.

According to Kathleen King, one of the artists, the message of the mural is that, if San Diego is really going to live up to the title of “finest,” the city has to embrace art as an element of public life. The only way to make a city great is to focus on improving the lives of the people who live there—public art is a big part of that quality of life. A great city must have great art.

But is America’s Finest City living up to a reputation as finest? Hint: The slogan was deleted from the City of San Diego’s web site in August 2005. My answer is, “Not lately.” To wit:

  • Randy “Duke” Cunningham (Republican), a decorated war veteran, is serving time in prison for taking $2.4 million in bribes to pay for a Rolls Royce, a yacht, and antique furniture.
  • The FBI investigated City Hall which resulted in Mayor Dick Murphy (Republican) resigning.
  • A $1.37 billion pension shortfall damaged the city’s credit rating.
  • Two City Councilmen, Michael Zucchet (Acting Mayor at the time) and Ralph Inzunza, both Democrats, were convicted of taking bribes from a strip club owner.
  • Bob Filner (Democrat), elected mayor in November 2012 and taking office in January 2013, resigned in August 2013 because of sexual harassment allegations from, not one, not two, not even three, but a total of nineteen (19!) women.

All since 2005.

But the weather’s great!

At Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer,
Realtor Century 21 Award, BRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos