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Front Page » Authors » Bio for John T. Bird » Archives for John T. Bird

By John T. Bird on July 17, 2009

Our Uncle Walter died today. We cried with him when JFK was shot. We spent hours together, marveling over each step of the space program, and we cried again, in joy, when Armstrong walked the moon. When Uncle Walter said the Viet Nam War was mired in stalemate, we knew it was time to find a way out, and we cried when our leaders didn't listen. He was one of us, sounded like us, and was the best of us, wise, calm, honest, steady.

He told us the truth, even when it hurt, because he knew that to heal we had to know we were wounded. He told us the truth, when it helped, because he knew that we are more as a group than as individuals. He told us the truth, and we loved him and trusted him for it.

And that's the way it is, Friday, July 17, 2009. Rest in peace, Walter Cronkite.

By John T. Bird on February 12, 2009

Agnes Virginia Tullis Bird, 88 years old—who in her “premeditated obituary” described herself as an opinionated, sarcastic old gal—died peacefully in her home in Grants Pass, Oregon, on Friday, February 6, 2009, of natural causes.

She herself wrote that she was born in Baird, Texas, at high noon on April 29, 1920, and never missed a meal after that. She was the first of three daughters born to Albert J. Tullis and Edith Long Tullis.

Agnes spent her childhood with her family in numerous towns in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, following the oil development in the region. Albert and Edith lived in Russell during the ’40s and ’50s. In later life Agnes and her two younger sisters, Violet and Nancy, proudly sported T-shirts with the message “Oil Trash and Proud of It.”

Read more of this post here ...

By John T. Bird on December 6, 2008

Sports Illustrated this week named Eunice Kennedy Shriver the inaugural recipient of its Sportsman of the Year Legacy Award for her amazing devotion of her life to creating and growing Special Olympics. Eunice spearheaded the first Special Olympics only seven weeks after her younger brother, Bobby, gave his life for his country in that kitchen in Los Angeles. At Soldier Field in Chicago, in 1968, fewer than 100 people sat in the stands, watching about 1,000 athletes marching in the opening ceremony. Now, thanks to her leadership, three million Special Olympics athletes are training in the United States and 180 other countries, reminding the world of the joys of athletic competition for all, not just the especially physically talented.

When I saw the article on Eunice Kennedy Shriver's selection for the prestigious award, I was reminded of one of my favorite moments in politics.

Read more of this post here ...

By John T. Bird on November 15, 2008

Change and bipartisanship. The themes of the Obama campaign. What if he applies those to his Cabinet appointments? Here are some possibilities, all serious, but some not likely.

First, Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Best reason? She knows all the players and has bigger balls than the villains she would have to deal with. Second best reason? It would get her out of the Senate, where she could otherwise be a major pain in the ass for President Obama. Worst drawback? Bill would have to divest himself of all those foreign financial entanglements. Possible unintended consequence? Hillary would dump Bill, to get rid of the conflicts.

Read more of this post here ...

By John T. Bird on October 28, 2008

It seems that the Democrats have been sucked into letting the last week of the election be about the horse race aspects of the campaigns for President, House and Senate. All the blogs and news sites are talking about are the "numbers": how big a win for Obama, how many takeaways from the R's in the House, how close the D's will get to filibuster-proof in the Senate.

Where is the message? How about talking about we need a big win to put the vested interests back into their cages? How about telling the voters, in a cohesive, comprehensive, cogent way that when three of the four possible partisan permutations (D President w/R Congress, R President w/R Congress, R President w/D Congress) have failed and brought us to the brink of economic, environmental and extra-territorial cataclysm, the only real choice is the fourth and final combination, Democrat President, Democrat Congress? How about we tell the voters that if they want a broken system fixed, we need to install new parts?

People are not going to give us the majorities we crave just to be with a winner: we have to show them how they get to be the winners by making us the winners.

Read more of this post here ...

By John T. Bird on October 18, 2008

By John T. Bird on October 17, 2008

[Courtesy of Beattie; for more cartoons from this artist, see his archives at News Journal]

By John T. Bird on October 5, 2008

The Republican model for the last three election cycles has been ingenious: when their candidate is losing the public debate on the issues, they, in essence, declare that election over and the next one begun. Recall in 2000 when Gore had apparently gone ahead, having smashed Bush on the issues of the day? Rove and gang simply decided that since they had found that they could not win with the electorate on those issues, they would change the subject and win on the new ones they chose.

Remember the second debate, when Dubya announced that he was firmly against nation-building and criticized Gore for Somalia and the Balkans? Even with the "new" election invented by the Republican strategists of 2000, though, the race was close enough that they had to steal Florida's electoral votes. By 2004, the strategy had become a tactic, to borrow from General McCain's lectionary, and the vote-stealing machine of the Republican Party was much more adroit and subtle. As Bush took his lumps for the mess he had made in Iraq and the rest of the world, Rove, et al were gearing up the most effective smear campaign yet waged against a national candidate. The coordinated Swift-boating of Kerry, the double trap laid by the leaked supposedly forged documents showing Dubya's cowardly shirking of duty turned the "second election" into a popularity contest, won easily by the affable dunce called Dubya.

Read more of this post here ...

By John T. Bird on October 4, 2008

Let the word go out. This is the best summary of the fraud of the Republican Party I have seen yet.

Today, any semblance of the historic identity of the Republican Party has been sundered. Based on Concord Coalition data, the total fiscal burden -- including public debt and future unfunded entitlements -- on each American totals $175,000, or $455,000 on each household. Eight years ago, these amounts were $72,500 per person, or $188,750 on each household. Therefore, the price of the past eight years -- of tax cuts and massive increases in spending -- has been over $100,000 per person, or $265,000 per family. ($265,000 Per Family: Why America Cannot Afford the Price of a McCain Victory, by David Paul)

By John T. Bird on October 1, 2008

When the suicide attacks of September 11, 2001, occurred, I told friends that I was afraid that the result would be the loss of our civil rights, under the guise of National Security. Little did I know that not only would those be lost, but so would our strong national economy be destroyed.

Objectively, it cannot be denied that bin Laden and his allies, which include the Saud family, most of the middle eastern satrapies and other friends of convenience, have succeeded beyond most expectations in undermining the United States’ ability to function as a positive (or negative) influence outside or inside our borders.

This is no coincidence. People who understood our system better than we ourselves have used relatively small leverage to achieve massive destruction. For want of a better term, think of the enemy as “They”.

Read more of this post here ...

More blog posts by John T. Bird:

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We encourage and welcome you to look back through the blog archives for John T. Bird. All of this author's archives are listed here, on the right side of this page.

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This is an archive for John T. Bird. To learn more about this author, you can also read a Biography for John T. Bird here.

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Archives: John T. Bird

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