Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Time to Heal by Gerald Ford



In December, as a break from reading law texts,  I read “A Time to Heal”, the Presidential memoir of Gerald Ford that was published in 1979.

A good man, Ford.  Some items of interest, to me if no one else:

·  Having just finished a biography of Nelson Rockerfeller, it was nice to hear some of the stories of N.A.R. from a second source, and I’m pleased that Ford held him in genuine esteem. 

· Ford criticizes himself, in print, for his “political cowardice” in bowing to the Right and taking Rockerfeller off the ticket in ’76.  A brave admission by a politician.

· Ford’s dislike for Reagan, which I’ve read about before, shines through. I can’t blame him. Reagan f’d the GOP in 1976 by seeking the nomination against a sitting Republican President.

· Many of the power players from the last few decades came on the scene in the Ford era, and it was neat to hear about the “young” up-and-comers:  GHW Bush, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld,  etc.

· Joe Biden pops up too, when as a Senator he refuses to allow any funds to be used to evacuate South Vietnamese civilians as Saigon fell. “I will vote for any amount for getting the Americans out,” he said, “I don’t want it mixed with getting the Vietnamese out.”  As this quite literally meant condemning 120,000 civilians  to possible death or internment,  Ford was less than happy with the young Senator  (Ford secured private funding to bring them into the US)

· At one point, Ford writes that he wishes he’d been able to pick GHW Bush as his Vice Presidential candidate (Bush had been forced by Congressional Democrats to swear off any such opportunity when he became CIA Director)

· Ford also strongly considered Anne Armstrong as his VP, predating the  Geraldine Ferraro nomination by eight years. If given the opportunity to do it again, Ford writes “I might well have said, ‘Damn the torpedoes,’ and gambled on Anne.”


· From a distance, it’s easy to see when something is doomed to fail or succeed. Ford spend some time applauding his own emphasis on truth-in-sentencing and mandatory sentences, both of which would  lead to an overcrowded penal system that is now a blight on our culture.  He also causally pokes fun at “outrageous” regulations that now seem routine; case in point, the ‘beep’ of a commercial vehicle going in reverse. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015!

              


  In a few of my forty years on this planet the New Year brought forth a stream of Resolutions. Some were sincere, some tongue-in-cheek, and almost all doomed to failure.

                The dawn of 2015 is a little different. I’m content with the road I’m on right now, with the express understanding that it is *the journey* and not the destination.  My goal in 2015 is to simply continue what I’m doing, but do it better.

                To Whit:

1.       Continue with my healthier eating habits and reinforce my exercise routine.
2.       Stay employed 40 hours a week
3.       Continue with law school, but bump up the GPA
4.       Keep the marriage healthy as we enter year 19
5.       Make improvements around the house
6.       Be a good/better Dad
7.       Get back into writing (for pay)
8.    Finish watching Breaking Bad. I'm currently midway through season one. 

 Happy New Year!