ABROAD THOUGHTS FROM HOME

 

 Corporate Jolly brings YOU off your Trolly

Why did they get rid of trams in Dublin, and 50 years later re-introduce it, and then with as much ‘join up’ as in the thinking.  Besides being ‘Oirish’ that is?   I ‘ll leave you to infer the answers from this article at

Cracked.com

There was a time in America when even small towns hummed around on electric trains and trolley. Around the end of World War I, urban railways accounted for 90 percent of trips taken in vehicles, and there was no reason to believe they were going anywhere. Urban railways meant that the average workaday citizen didn’t have to invest time and money in learning to drive, paying for gas and maintaining a car. At the time, driving a car was considered a novelty. A fun thing to do on a Sunday that allowed the moderately wealthy to feel fancy without having to buy a boat. Plus, the railways were so lucrative that the local government didn’t have to pay a dime to maintain them, since small businesses did the work for them. Everyone was a winner, except for a handful of very rich people who had overestimated the demand for automobiles back when they were known as horseless carriages.

In 1921, only 10 percent of Americans owned cars, and after losing $65 million in a year, General Motors had to face the fact that cars just weren’t worth it for the other 90 percent. Today, the ascendance of the automotive industry is a foregone conclusion, but at the time it seemed more like a bunch of rich guys had forgotten that not everyone was rich. Imagine if the wealthiest people in your city invested all their money in limousines, under the assumption that everyone would stop taking cabs because why take a taxi? Limos only cost a couple hundred dollars extra!

This is where less successful men would have come to terms with the fact that they’d backed the wrong horse. Capitalism had spoken, and its answer was: “We’ll take the clearly superior alternative that doesn’t cost half a year’s paycheck up front.” Instead, General Motors decided to find a way to make cars worth it to the average citizen. After waiting for the laughter in the room to die down when someone suggested that they lower car prices, the car industry looked at the people who rode electric rails to work and decided to make them what’s known in the mafia as “an offer they can’t refuse.”

rail

According to a Senate report in the 1930s, GM, Goodyear, Firestone Tire and a bunch of oil companies joined together to form a number of fake rail companies. They would buy up all the small companies that operated America’s small town railway systems, then destroy the systems, and soon enough America would run on gasoline-powered tires. By the mid-1950s, the fake rail companies had replaced 900 of the 1,200 public railway systems with gas-powered buses and cars and were ready to take on the biggest electric railway system in the world: Los Angeles. Yes, the city that’s famous for bumper-to-bumper traffic once hummed along on 1,500 miles of electric railways. GM bought out the local railway companies, and a few years later there wasn’t a single electric streetcar operating in Los Angeles. Today, the smog over LA is so thick that most of the people who live there have no idea they that live at the foot of a beautiful snow-capped mountain range.

LA

Of course, you can’t just form an illegal monopoly and get away with it. In 1947, the government convicted 10 of the biggest corporations in America of conspiracy, and fined GM $5,000. GM was able to survive the fine, since the illegal conspiracy had made it one of the most successful companies of the 20th century. And all they had to do was destroy the infrastructure of some of America’s biggest cities and screw the next dozen or so generations who lived there out of clean, affordable transportation.

from cracked.com

 

 WATERGATE SCHMARTERGATE

PLUMBING IS EXCELLENT HERE

PLUMBING IS EXCELLENT HERE

PIC.COPYRIGHT.  MAURICE O’SULLIVAN AHERNE

 The following makes the incident at Watergate relatively insignificant

 

article from cracked.com

It takes a messy brain to get busted for committing low-level espionage while you’re the president of the United States. It takes a Bond villain to commit treason and get away with it so hard that instead of being put to death like you’re supposed to, you become the goddamn president. That’s what Nixon pulled off in ’68, and he only had to extend the Vietnam War by five years to do it.

The 1968 presidential election featured Nixon in the Republican corner, squaring off against sitting vice president Hubert Humphrey. Humphrey was running on what was known as the “peace plank” — his assurance that the Johnson-Humphrey administration was in the process of negotiating an end to the increasingly unpopular war in Vietnam. For Humphrey, everything hinged on the Paris Peace Talks, where the Johnson administration had brought Vietnamese leaders from the North and South together, and claimed to be making progress. Most Americans weren’t buying it, and Nixon was leading Humphrey by a large margin for most of the campaign.

But everything changed in the weeks before the election when Humphrey called for a bombing halt in Vietnam, and both the North Vietnamese and the Johnson administration agreed to it. Just three days before the election, peace seemed imminent in Vietnam, and Humphrey was starting to look like a total boss. He surged in the polls, making up an insane amount of ground just a week before the election. As October turned to November, the election was a tie, and Humphrey had all the momentum.

And then something weird happened. The day before the election, America’s South Vietnamese allies suddenly withdrew from the peace negotiations. It seemed suspicious that America’s own ally would pull out, and doubly suspicious that it happened on the eve of the presidential election. In taped phone conversations which would only be revealed later, Lyndon Johnson explained how things had broken so conveniently for the Republican candidate: Nixon’s campaign had been telling “the [South Vietnamese] allies that ‘You’re going to get sold out'” if they agreed to the offer on the table. In an effort to screw Humphrey’s election, Nixon had intentionally sabotaged the peace talks. As Johnson would later point out, this is technically treason, since it means Nixon directly sabotaged the interests of the United States for his own personal gain.

nixonjohnson

YOU DID WHUT RICHARD?  caption  mosaherne      picture. wikpedia

 

And it worked. Without the momentum of the peace talks, Humphrey lost the popular vote by an extremely narrow margin. Had the peace talks continued to succeed through election day, Humphrey almost certainly would have continued to surge past Nixon, and more importantly, the Vietnam War might have ended in 1968, saving tens of thousands of American lives. Instead, Nixon was elected president and let the war drag on for five more years before he and Henry Kissinger finally brokered peace. The agreement they did it with was almost identical to the one that had been on the table when Nixon’s people had blown up the peace talks five years earlier, with one important distinction: Nixon and Kissinger got to take credit for it. As attributed writer said ” Hey, someone had to set the bar for Cheney”

Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon (Photo credit: tonynetone)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Government Controls the Media?  Not such a stretch to imagine….

Beginning in 1948, a man named Frank Wisner  ran a branch of the CIA called the Office of Policy Coordination and was given all sorts of secret authority to pretty much do any awful thing he like if it advanced his version of American ideology. Under that sleazy umbrella, Wisner began Operation Mockingbird which was his effort to infiltrate every major media outlet with journalists and editors who were in his pocket.

By the mid-50s, the CIA had over 400 journalists working with them across the country. And these guys weren’t just cub reporters, either. They included top-level employees from all three major networks as well as The New York Times, Time Inc. and Associated Press, all not only capable of planting pro-government stories in their respective media but also able to suppress anything that wasn’t government-friendly. And the whole shebang was so easy to accomplish because, as one operative note. ” You could get a journalist cheaper than a call girl….. for a few hundred dollars a month”

“Looking pretty good compared to Hitler.   Not a high bar, but it’s one we can reach”

 

 

NEEDING SOME SPACE?

 

http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/space/frontiers/ohara.html

 

The Moon landing from NASA was enthralling back in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.  Today I am less than convinced about it for a myriad of technical reasons.  I will get back to this in some detail later.   It pains me to say so, particularly after recent death of  Mr Armstrong, a great test pilot (including the X-15) and academic.

Whatever about the Mercury and subsequent Gemini programs in earth orbit; the Apollo project appears in 20/20 hindsight to be a step beyond the technology that was available at Houston, the Cape, and Baikonur, at that time.

The implication is enormous, but history has shown what governments do, and maybe in time; all could be revealed!

Even today,  planetary travel by humans is implausible for some time to come.

BUT….

NASA -JPL-LOCKHEED MARTIN-BOEING -GRUMMAN-and many more besides are just the  GREATest  —-when they make machines.

 

 

More interesting diversions

 http://www.flightlevel350.com/aviation_video.php?id=17490 

http://documentary.net/sf-to-paris-flight-in-two-minutes-with-aurora-borealis/

http://documentary.net/the-well-covering-capitol-hill/

http://documentary.net/hollywood-and-the-war-machine/

 

 

From US centricity to…..

 

China

http://documentary.net/roctrip-china-2011/

Considering their history of famine, oppression and slaughter within by Mao, and by various Imperial forces without, the Chinese people en masse (not government and cronies) deserve reward.

 

Good luck to them!

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About Maurice O'Sullivan Aherne

As to the Gravatar inquiry which asks 'About Me' ? There is a life sustaining atmosphere. If they meant ...a description; there is more than the fraction shared online.
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