The Lyndon Johnson Tapes: Richard Nixon's Treason

Declassified tapes of President Lyndon Johnson’s telephone calls provide a fresh insight into his world. Among the revelations - he planned a dramatic entry into the 1968 Democratic Convention to re-join the presidential race. And he caught Richard Nixon sabotaging the Vietnam peace talks… but said nothing.

TL:DR

Nixon convinced the South Vietnamese to leave the Paris peace talks in 1968 so that it would make LBJ look inept and hand the election to the Republicans. In return, Nixon would give the South Vietnamese a better deal.

Nixon ended his election campaign by saying the democrat war policy was a mess and that “they couldn’t even get the South Vietnamese to the negotiating table” sealing a win in the election by less than 1%.

After the election, Nixon escalated the war into Laos and Cambodia killing 22,000 American soldiers before finally settling for a peace agreement in 1973 that was in reach in 1968, 5 years earlier.

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Did You Know: The US has Higher Knife Crime Per Million Than The UK

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Gun advocates usually put down UK gun stats by saying “yeah, but their knife crime is through the roof”. So I looked up the numbers. 

UK

In 2011/12 there were 29,320 (top link, page 4)  crimes involving knives and sharp instruments. 4,490 of those incidents resulted in a visit to the hospital (England only) and 200 resulted in a homicide.

In 2010/11 there were 11,870 firearm offences (over half were air weapons, and another quarter were imitation), 499 resulted in a visit to the hospital, and 60 resulted in death (England and Wales 50 + Scotland 2)

UK Adjusted for population/million (assuming 60m)

Knife crimes in the UK: 489/m incidents, 75/m hospitalisations, and 4/m deaths. 

Gun crimes in the UK: 198/m incidents, 9/m hospitalisations, and 1/m deaths.

Total gun and knife crime together in the UK: 689/m incidents, 84/m hospitalisations, and 5/m deaths.

USA

In 2011 there were 144,829 crimes involving knives and sharp instruments, (medical attention n/a) of which 1,694 resulted in death. 

In 2011 there were 258,671 crimes involving firearms, (medical attention n/a) of which 8,583 resulted in death.

USA Adjusted for population/million (assuming 300m)

Knife crimes in the USA: 482/m incidents, and 6/m deaths

Gun crime in the USA: 863/m incidents, and 29/m deaths

Total gun and knife crime together in the USA: 1345/m incidents, and 35/m deaths

Comparison/million (UK v US)

Knife incidents (489 v 482) =

Knife deaths (5 v 6) =

Gun incidents (198 v 863) 4.3x

Gun deaths (1 v 29) 29x

Total incidents (689 v 1345) 1.9x

Total deaths (5 v 35) 7x

Reason

Why did I compare the two? Because of the sentence I hear being banded around by gun nuts when you talk about gun control in the UK, “yeah, but their knife crime is through the roof”. The sentence itself implies so much misinformation it’s not funny. Worst of all it asserts something that isn’t true (well, not compared to the USA), but the implied meaning is that owning a gun works as self defense, not only that, but that owning a gun lowers knife crime!

It’s something that the stats don’t reveal, in fact it tells us the exact opposite, that gun ownership has no effect on knife crime, The UK and USA have comparable rates (489/m v 482/m).

Then there is the second issue, in an incident with a knife you are 3 times less likely to die than in an incident with a gun. (482/6/m v 863/29/m)

But it’s all tied up in the propaganda about defense, that you are ‘playing the victim’ to not defend yourself. It’s a sentence that chastises people for being weak and not putting up a fight, but if you pull a gun on an assailant, then you are putting them in a kill or die situation and that’s a battle you may not win. The words ‘playing the victim’ are dangerously misleading because if defending yourself results in a higher likelihood that you die then that isn’t a very good defense. I’d rather ‘play the victim’ and live.

The point I’m making is that even when you add in knife crime, the USA still far outpaces the UK, guns are not protection from knives. Even if you got rid of guns from the USA and those crimes were replaced by knife crimes (which they wouldn’t, knives are more personal and put people off, guns are too easy to just stop thinking and squeeze a trigger) the survival rate would still increase. And isn’t that what’s important, that less people die.

This is not a liberal/conservative issue, this is a facts issue.

Guns are a false sense of security that only put you in more danger than they are meant to protect you from. The continued denial of the facts and promotion of the Defense Myth is only causing more needless deaths.

The Pledge Of Alligance

It’s definitely not brainwashing.

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BBC, Grand Prix: The Killer Years

In the 60s and early 70s it was common for Grand Prix drivers to be killed while racing, often televised for millions to see. Mechanical failure, lethal track design, fire and incompetence snuffed out dozens of young drivers. They had become almost expendable as eager young wannabes queued up at the top teams’ gates waiting to take their place.

This is the story of when Grand Prix was out of control.

Featuring many famous drivers including three times world champion Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, twice world champion Emerson Fittipaldi and John Surtees OBE, this exciting but shocking film explores how Grand Prix drivers grew sick of their closest friends being killed and finally took control of their destiny.

After much waste of life, the prestigious Belgian and German Grands Prix would be boycotted, with drivers insisting that safety be put first. But it would be a long and painful time before anything would change, and a lot of talented young men would be cut down in their prime.

This is their story.

'Something was terribly wrong. I loved the sport, but it was wrong. I prayed to God whether or not to continue.' - Emerson Fittipaldi

'It made me angry. The sport was way wrong.' - Sir Jackie Stewart OBE.

The Austin Grand Prix is this weekend at The Circuit Of The Americas, so here’s a fantastic documentary for the uninitiated that gives some insight into the history of Formula 1 racing. Between this and Senna you can quickly bring yourself up to speed.

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Iran & The West

A 3hr documentary from the BBC which gives all the historical context you need to understand the conflict between Iran & The West.

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The History Of Iran & The USA In 10 Minutes

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