Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy 100th Gipper!

"Cold War Hollywood" inks on bristol / 2009
Today marks the 100th birthday of former President of the United States, Ronald Reagan.


In the early 1940's, Reagan (then an actor and Democrat) became a board member and eventually president of the Screen Actors Guild where he began his life-long mission to rid the world of Communist scum.  In the heat of the "red scare" later that decade, he testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee with a vehement defense of Democracy and denouncement of all things Socialist and Communist.  As an act of his own patriotism, Reagan even served as a Hollywood informant for the FBI, providing them with names of actors whom he believed to be Communist sympathizers.  In effect he helped author the infamous Hollywood Blacklist.  


Reagan's film and television career began it's decline in the late 1950's.  He flipped sides of the isle in the 60's after endorsing Eisenhower and then Nixon for their presidential bids.  He famously stated that "I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The party left me."  After giving his famous, "Time for Choosing" speech in 1964 in support of Barry Goldwater's presidential run where he stressed the importance of limiting the government's role in the economy, Reagan earned the admiration of much of the public as a well-spoken political figure.  This catapulted him into the limelight for which he was nominated and elected Governor of California in 1967 and served as such for eight years.  In 1976, he attempted to dethrone incumbent candidate Gerald Ford for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party.  In 1980, he succeeded in gaining his party's support and was elected President, also serving in office at the White House for eight years.


Reagan never lost sight of his hatred for all things Communist.  In 1982, he said, "the forward march of freedom and democracy will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash-heap of history."  One year later in a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals, he called the USSR an "evil empire," coining a phrase which has stood to this day.  He also stated, "Communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written." Over the next few years, he would go on to fund anti-communist efforts in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  He also deployed the CIA to train and arm groups of militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan to help fight off occupying Soviet troops.  This Covert Action program is credited for ending the Soviet occupation of the Middle East and at the same time creating the resistance movements which we ironically still fight and lose American soldiers' lives and limbs to on a daily basis today in the midst of our own 10 year occupation of Middle Eastern countries. With the Revolutions of 1989, communism fell in many European countries and Russia followed suit in 1991, just a couple of years after Reagan's presidency.  


Another staple of the Reagan Years (and the inspiration behind an element in my illustration) was his contribution to the War on Drugs (began by Nixon in 1971, who The Gipp supported.)  In 1986, he kicked the program into high gear by signing a $1.7 Billion drug enforcement bill, which also created a mandatory minimum sentence for drug charges.  This bill led to the overcrowding of American prisons and was criticized for creating racial disparities among inmate populations..  Drug trafficking in America and street sales only increased along with the inmate tolls nation-wide.  Nancy Reagan championed her husband's effort by creating the Just Say No campaign to attempt to educate America's youth about the dangers of experimenting with narcotics.  She appeared everywhere from Dynasty to Diff'rent Strokes to Good Morning America to music videos on MTV to campaign her cause.  In the end, a catch phrase had as insignificant of an effect on drug use as throwing money at the "problem."


During his terms as President, Reagan quadrupled the national debt while seeing through a peaceful end to the Cold War (mainly due to the eventual collapse of the USSR, not from "winning" the Cold War.)  He created "Reaganomics," changing tax brackets and policies nearly every year of his presidency.  The American taxpayer was footed with the bill to fund a bulging defense budget and combat drug use among our youth.  We created the largest weapons arsenal in human history and then signed a bill to curb those numbers and destroy a portion of the weapons we paid to manufacture.  All of this, after building a career around the idea of limiting the government's role in our finances and economy.  Reagan passed away on June 5, 2004 at his home in California.  His body was moved to Washington D.C. where nearly 105,000 people filed through his viewing. 


And now for the star-studded music video your tax dollars from the mid-80's paid for....


21 comments:

  1. A pretty good clip from the site CrooksandLiars.com on this topic:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGhR2VnVma0&feature=player_embedded

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  2. OH... that just brought so much joy to my heart so see Rush eat it like that!

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  3. I added it for you to the main post Dan! It kinda exemplifies what I was trying to subversively say.

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  4. Sad thing is that both Reagan and the communist scum both shared a belief that drugs should be illegal and that governments should prevent and punish people for using them.

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    1. Anyone who lived through the Reagan years knows what an evil idiot he was. Every day the White House had to issue press releases that started 'when the President said X yesterday he really meant Y.' When he spoke Nancy would whisper what he was supposed to say in his ear.

      Do you remember zero tolerance? If the cops find a marijauna seed in your house they could confiscate your house - and they did.

      Remember Ed Meese? The attorney general who said that if the cops stop you should have no rights because if the cops think you are guilty then you are guilty?

      How about James Watt who spent his couple of years as Secretary of the Interior giving away our land to drillers and miners.

      The cold war ended when satellite dishes started popping up all over the eastern block and the people there starting seeing that we in the west really do have our own homes, cars, etc. Gorbachev knew the lies of the previous decades were exposed and he should be given the credit for the demise, not Reagan.

      Reagan did push the USSR to the brink of bankrupcty by spending, spending, spending on defense and the Russkies couldn't keep up. Glad that money didn't go to fight cancer.

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    2. You managed to get your last chapter, but not the last sentence, about right. Towards the end of the USSR, 70% of its GDP was for the military. Reagan's strategy worked just fine. It's much less expensive to frighten one to ruin his pants than have a full scale war. There were no actual wars during the Reagan era.

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  5. Limbaugh should be in prison for his serious drug use.... He use to rant and rave about people who smoked pot were just awful..! The creep..

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  6. Did you notice how severely Rush stutters when he gets flustered while on Oxycontin?

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  7. It truly is amazing how people remember Reagan as a limited Government President when his policies were all but that of a limited Government, free-market and fiscal conservative.

    http://www.wtffinance.com/2011/03/ronald-reagan-hypocrisy-the-deficit-spending-anti-free-market-conservative/

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  8. I am still completely flummoxed by the seemingly pervasive deification of Ronald Reagan by the 'conservatives' of this country. It just reinforces for me their utter lack of understanding of how the world actually works, and highlights how easily hypocrisy creeps in on those who don't.

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  9. Say what you want about Reagan's stance, but most Democrats, particularly inner city ones, have been just as hardliners for the Drug War than any Republican or conservative. I have only seen a few far-left Dems advocate for total legalization.

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  10. All the money spent on the War on Drugs could have been channeled into outreach programs providing clean needles, free HIV tests and treatment, rehabilitation, and general education on drugs and cognitive liberties at the High School level. You could have taken a fraction of that money and cleaned up the debilitating effects of drugs on the inner city.

    What do we get instead? More violence associated with the crime incited by cracking down on trafficking and D.A.R.E.

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  11. F*ck the "inner-city". If those lazy idiots can't make it in a free society, with a free education, a free house, free food, and a free cell phone, then they're too stupid to make it, period.

    Your "outreach" programs are just another tax on an overburdened society who is already paying the price for the lower classes inability to function at any perceptible level.

    The better use of our funds is to imprison, (or better yet, execute) these street criminals and get them out of society altogether.

    Then there would be plenty of money to help treat the truly disadvantaged and needy people, who really do need it.

    Liberals are unable to grasp these simple facts and always seek to blame society as a whole for an individuals problems.

    When one of YOUR children is raped and beaten nearly to death by one of the "poor disadvantaged people" as my daughter was, you will have a different perspective.

    Fortunately, they have pictures of the black bastard that did it ( he was at a hospital getting some free health care when he started stalking her). Unfortunately, considering he will be tried by a jury of his peers- more drug addicted sexual predators- he will probably walk. The good news for you Liberals is that he will be free to rape again. Hooray. Next time, I hope it's one of your kids!

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    1. Is it my imagination or do I see the words "Final Solution" and hear Adolf's ranting implied in your posting?

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  12. Victimized Anonymous, I'm certainly sorry to hear about your daughter. Crime is an unfortunate byproduct in any society. However, crime is not simply isolated to the inner city as we have much more dangerous Corporate Criminals robbing the Middle Class and creating many of the conditions chich cause Lower Class crime. Two wrongs will never make a right though and you wishing your daughter's misfortunes on another human being only misdirects your anger. I hope you find a more practical way to cope other than visualizing more violence.

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  13. I didn't say crime was isolated to the inner city. And the more dangerous Corporate crime you refer to is not isolated to conservatives. As well, the crime of sexual assault is not caused by poverty. Unless you are in some way saying that Corporate America is only run by conservatives, who in turn purposely cause poverty which in turn excuses the raping of our children. Is that what you are saying?
    Or , could it be that Liberal policies have totally failed in education, employment, and the furthering of one's self? Possibly, your painting of Sarah Palin placing a gun in the hand of one of your "social disaffected individuals" who in turn murdered several people, including a 9 year old girl. You see, you are trafficking in the misery and pain of that situation and trying to capitalize on it to promote your "Agenda" all the while ignoring the facts of the case.
    So, before you try your sublime tactic of reversal, consider this... it was YOU who painted that idea into the minds of whomever sees that painting... misrepresenting the facts as they are, and profiting from the death of a 9 year old girl.

    As for misdirecting anger, you are wrong again. I simply am waiting for the inevitable to occur, which it will. At that time, my hope is that the next victim (which there will surely be one) will be someone who can defend the attackers behavior, and ultimately blame themselves for the attack... a true Liberal/Progressive. That way, no one will be hurt.

    As far as "visualizing more violence", one simply has to look at your paintings. Good Day.

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  14. Victimized Anonymous, my comment was indeed mainly in reference to Conservatives. It is Conservative regimes which invented Corporate Welfare and the tax breaks for the extremely rich which widen the lower class by eliminating the middle class. Does this cause crime? I know that poverty does indeed cause crime, just maybe not the sort which your daughter was a victim of (and is in fact off-topic from this entire article and artwork.) You were the one who turned my commentary directing wasteful spending to outreach and drug treatment to the crimes committed against your family.

    Nowhere on my site will you see artwork promoting or condoning violence, but rather seeking solutions to or motivations behind such behavior. I only hope by "agenda" may bring light to such issues, which are at times predominantly American ones (given we have the highest murder and suicide rates on planet Earth.)

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  15. I'm sorry that this comment isn't in relation to the article, but I noticed in the last comment you said, "given we have the highest murder and suicide rates on planet Earth." I was wondering where you are getting your numbers from? I did a quick search on both, and Wikipedia says otherwise:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

    Just kind of wondering if you were being tongue-in-cheek or if there is somewhere else to do a quick reference for these types of things?

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  16. Rob, in my quick response, I should have said, "some" of the highest suicide and murder rates. Thanks for the information.

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  17. Well said and thanks for the heads up.

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  18. Actually my Dad knew Reagan from the time Reagan headed the screen actors guild. He liked him, apparently a nice guy one-on-one, at least in the 1950s.

    In fairness, the USSR under Stalin suffered from very bad government and a lot of people were very concerned about the global threat of the Stalinist USSR.

    I too am a liberal, and I too feel that many of the worrisome trends now apparent began during the Reagan administration (both in California and in the nation), but I will leave it to history to judge Reagan and decide how much responsibility he had and how much to allocate to the conservatives around him.

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