Monday, April 17, 2006

Just finished Sons of Camelot by Leamer whose Kennedy Women I enjoyed last year. I'd seen this book at half price books, figured that was too high, found it at my local library. If this were still last night I could write down some of the trivia I learned, but by now I've forgotten.
Sirhan Sirhan: palestinian terrorist? Did the war of terror start in 1968? Sure, one can harken back to the shores of tripoli and Stephen Decatur (how is that pronounced?) but I'd thought Sir Han was just a lone nut (and lone nuts are often cover for mob hits.)
Much of the book is just more of the pattern - money, political office, cheating,
and endless varieties of deathdefying recklessness.
Skiing trips where you break the same leg you broke last year, crazier (Ted doing that ski jump in 1960 to show off) until somebody dies.
Plane crashes, car crashes, mountain climbing, jealous husbands, picking fights with guys with guns and guys with nukes.
Charities for profit, charities for charity's sake.
Between this Kennedy book and some Hillary books I've been reading, I have a better take on Watergate, the Saturday Night Massacre, why Archibald Cox was fired by Bork for being a Kennedy agent, in conjunction with the FBI as Deep Throat. Not that I'm ready to give up 30 years of not liking the GOP, but I'm more aware now of how I and the country were conned. It could be said that the Kennedys robbed Nixon of the presidency twice, 1960 and 1974, with a little help from Nixon. Goldwater claims that the 1952 slush fund that led to the Checkers speech was legitimate money - I haven't sorted out yet whether Goldwater is a reliable source. Enough on that for now.
Another tidbit:
Airline deregulation was one of the early 70s era experients in returning to markets.
What I learned was not only was the bill sponsored by Ted Kennedy, the idea came from a guy named Steven Breyer. Whodathunkit?

Also [finished] reading The Bouviers. Nice job by a cousin, of saving the family history that Black Jack Bouvier wanted to burn and hide - he, John Davis, started saving documents and planning the book when he was just a kid. So many great men (women) get famous doing things they decided to do when they were kids - but we don't pay much attention to those kids, the ones with world-changing insights. So they, we, grow up bitter, lonely, a touch jaded. My favorite example is Farnsworth, who invented TV when he was 14 and plowing behind a mule.
The Bouviers have a pretty compelling story of their own - vast fortunes won, lost, given away. Drexel money, nuns, founders of colleges for blacks and indians, a Philadelphia Story of a cabinet maker whose decendent marries a prince.
By next week I'll have forgotten more of the details. Gotta say, though, snobs.
Give me Bess Truman or Mamie Eisenhower.

I've been getting a lot done, by my slothful standards, but I also have a lot of downtime where I read. Or did; I am now employed full time with an hour commute each way (uphill thru the hail) unless I flunked the post-training test today.
So I gotta go home and get some sleep; that's the hard part, not going to the club like I usually do on a monday. [I went anyway and am sleep deprived.]

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