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Buy the Texas Ranch Where LBJ Hid from the Press

January 17, 2018 in History

By Sarah Pruitt

(Image courtesy of Coldwell Banker)

Just one week after taking the oath of office in the wake of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson bought a secluded parcel of land in Blanco County, Texas, to use as a private retreat from the stresses of life in the White House.

Today, LBJ’s former ranch on the property—377 Shiloh Road in Johnson City—is on sale for $2.8 million, including a three-bedroom, two-bathroom dwelling built on the foundations of Johnson’s former home. Located on 142 acres of Johnson’s original 800-acre spread, the property boasts stunning panoramic views of Central Texas.

(Image courtesy of Coldwell Banker)

In the spacious main house, Johnson’s bedroom and bathroom have even been preserved, including a massive stone fireplace and wall-to-wall windows in the master bedroom and the president’s original tub in the stone-tiled bathroom. A smaller cottage on the property, which has one bedroom and one bathroom, housed the Secret Service during Johnson’s stays at the ranch.

After he announced he would not seek reelection in 1968, amid widespread protests over his administration’s Vietnam War policy, an exhausted Johnson left the White House and retreated to his happy place: Texas hill country. According to a 1973 report in the Atlantic, he gave strict orders to his staff to keep the press far away.


The Secret Service members had their own quarters on the property — a one-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage, which is still standing today. (Image courtesy of Coldwell Banker)

LBJ did not stay idle in retirement, however. He supervised the construction of the LBJ Presidential Library complex at the University of Texas, authored a book (The Vantage Point: Perspectives of the Presidency, 1963-1969) and, of course, worked the land on his beloved ranch.

This was not the secluded hilltop hideaway on sale today, but the nearby 330-acre property on the Pedernales River that Johnson purchased from his aunt in 1951, when he was still a U.S. senator. During his presidential administration, the LBJ Ranch (now part of the LBJ National Historical Park) became known as “the Texas White House,” as Johnson conducted so much business there, including receiving many world leaders.

After Johnson’s death in 1973, his wife, Lady Bird, continued to live at the ranch part time until her own death in 2007.

<img class="wp-image-201150 size-full" src="http://cdn.history.com/sites/2/2018/01/048_Le-Stelle-Studio-Building.jpg" alt="The property’s current owners are Italian artist Benini and his wife Lorraine, who purchased it in …read more

Source: HISTORY

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Buy the Texas Ranch Where LBJ Hid from the Press

January 17, 2018 in History

By Sarah Pruitt

(Image courtesy of Coldwell Banker)

Just one week after taking the oath of office in the wake of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson bought a secluded parcel of land in Blanco County, Texas, to use as a private retreat from the stresses of life in the White House.

Today, LBJ’s former ranch on the property—377 Shiloh Road in Johnson City—is on sale for $2.8 million, including a three-bedroom, two-bathroom dwelling built on the foundations of Johnson’s former home. Located on 142 acres of Johnson’s original 800-acre spread, the property boasts stunning panoramic views of Central Texas.

(Image courtesy of Coldwell Banker)

In the spacious main house, Johnson’s bedroom and bathroom have even been preserved, including a massive stone fireplace and wall-to-wall windows in the master bedroom and the president’s original tub in the stone-tiled bathroom. A smaller cottage on the property, which has one bedroom and one bathroom, housed the Secret Service during Johnson’s stays at the ranch.


The Secret Service members had their own quarters on the property — a one-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage, which is still standing today. (Image courtesy of Coldwell Banker)

After he announced he would not seek reelection in 1968, amid widespread protests over his administration’s Vietnam War policy, an exhausted Johnson left the White House and retreated to his happy place: Texas hill country. According to a 1973 report in the Atlantic, he gave strict orders to his staff to keep the press far away.

LBJ did not stay idle in retirement, however. He supervised the construction of the LBJ Presidential Library complex at the University of Texas, authored a book (The Vantage Point: Perspectives of the Presidency, 1963-1969) and, of course, worked the land on his beloved ranch.

This was not the secluded hilltop hideaway on sale today, but the nearby 330-acre property on the Pedernales River that Johnson purchased from his aunt in 1951, when he was still a U.S. senator. During his presidential administration, the LBJ Ranch (now part of the LBJ National Historical Park) became known as “the Texas White House,” as Johnson conducted so much business there, including receiving many world leaders.

After Johnson’s death in 1973, his wife, Lady Bird, continued to live at the ranch part time until her own death in 2007.

<img class="wp-image-201038 size-full" src="http://cdn.history.com/sites/2/2018/01/LBJ-rach-4.jpg" alt="The property’s current owners are Italian artist Benini and his wife Lorraine, who purchased it in …read more

Source: HISTORY

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Amid Freezing Classrooms, Baltimore’s Teachers Fight to Democratize City’s Schools

January 17, 2018 in Blogs

By Ryan Harvey, In These Times

When the government didn't step in, teachers organized to demand better conditions for their students.


When a photograph of bundled-up students in a frigid Baltimore classroom recently spread on social media—with temperatures in schools as low as the mid-30s—the city became a focal point of public attention. But two organizations of Baltimore teachers say such situations, far from isolated, are the latest examples of why educators are pushing to radically democratize the city’s school system.

“It wasn’t until we started sharing pictures in our classrooms showing 30 and 40-degree temperatures and speaking out together in a unified way that it got anyone’s attention,” says Kimberly Mooney, a teacher and member of the Baltimore Caucus of Educators for Democracy and Equity (CEDE), a caucus of the Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU), which is itself part of the American Federation of Teachers.

Last year, Mooney and CEDE ran a nearly successful insurgent campaign against the BTU’s entrenched President Marietta English, calling for the union to be more transparent and proactive around key issues, including reducing class sizes, rolling back standardized testing and advancing social justice issues relevant in the city. That mobilization developed into a fresh organization of teachers that is helping lead the fight for a new approach to Baltimore’s school system.

Alongside CEDE is another grassroots teacher-run effort and BTU caucus, the Baltimore Movement of Rank-and-File Educators (BMORE). Inspired by the 2012 Chicago Teachers Union strike, BMORE describes part of its mission as “working to transform the BTU from a service union to a social justice union.”

Both groups launched petitions this week in light of the freezing classrooms. “Baltimore City children attending decrepit school facilities without functioning heat and drinkable water is a tragedy that the state of Maryland created over decades of underfunding,” reads BMORE’s statement and list of demands. “They have repeatedly neglected their own definition of adequacy by 3 billion dollars over the past two decades alone, much of which would’ve prevented these circumstances before they happened.”

CEDE and BMORE presented their petitions to Baltimore’s Board of Education in a Tuesday board meeting where crowds of teachers, students and participants of numerous racial and social justice …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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'Presidency for Sale': Report Details Big-Buck Spending by Influence Seekers at Trump Properties

January 17, 2018 in Blogs

By Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams

“Business is booming at the Trump International Hotel in D.C., not because of the décor, but because corporations and foreign governments want to curry favor with the president.”


President Donald Trump's first year in office has been a “year of unprecedented conflicts of interest,” according to a new report that documents how dozens of political candidates, foreign governments, interest groups, and other private entities have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at the president's properties since his inauguration.

The 64 patrons identified by Public Citizen—through government filings and news reports—in Presidency for Sale range from the private prison company GEO Group and the American Petroleum Institute, to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Society and the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a contingent of lobbyists and state officials that work to advance a corporate agenda in legislatures across the country.

The Saudi Arabian government is also on the list, and as Public Citizen noted in a tweet about its report, “The Saudi effort to curry favor with the Trump administration stands out above all: A PR firm spent $270,000 on behalf of the Saudi government at the Trump International Hotel in D.C. on an undisclosed date.” 

The full list, detailed in a public spreadsheet, includes:

  • 35 political candidates or political organizations;
  • 16 trade or interest groups;
  • 4 charities, including one run by Trump's son, Eric;
  • 4 foreign governments;
  • 3 religious groups;
  • 2 individual companies; and
  • 1 college football team.

Among the political organizations listed are groups supporting Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the House Majority Leader.

The most popular Trump properties frequented by the corporate and political powers that be, according to the report, are the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida—the so-called Winter White House, which Trump visits often—and the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. 

“Business is booming at the Trump International Hotel in D.C., not because of the décor, but because corporations and foreign governments want to curry favor with the president,” said Public Citizen president Robert Weissman. “Donald Trump entered office with the most blatant and potentially corrupting conflicts of interest in the history of American politics, and things only got worse from there.”

Although Trump has<a target=_blank …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Nazi Website Daily Stormer Is 'Designed to Target' Kids

January 17, 2018 in Blogs

By Michael Edison Hayden, Newsweek

“Our goal has to be to give this [ideology] to teenagers and even before teenagers.”



The editor of the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer acknowledged on a white supremacist radio show that the true purpose of the conspiracy site is to radicalize children as young as 11 into holding extremist beliefs. “My site is mainly designed to target children” for radicalization, the editor, Andrew Anglin, said Saturday on Radical Agenda, a radio…{C} Read the rest of this entry →

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Jim Hightower: What's Killing America's Middle Class?

January 17, 2018 in Blogs

By Jim Hightower, AlterNet

The American economy in 2018 is plutocracy in action.


It is said that the rich and poor will always be among us—but nowhere is it written that the middle class is a sure thing.

Even in this country of grand egalitarian aspirations, where the common yeoman (neither rich nor poor) has been hailed from 1776 forward as America's greatest strength, the U.S. actually had no broad middle class until one was created in the 1930s and '40s. Before then, most Americans either lived in poverty or right next door.

And, yes, “created” is the correct term for how our middle class came to be, with two historic forces of social transformation pushing it. First, the widespread economic devastation of the Great Depression created a grassroots rebellion of labor, farmers, poor people, the elderly and others against the careless moneyed class that caused the crash. These forces produced FDR and his New Deal of Social Security, worker rights and protections, consumer laws, anti-monopoly restraints and other policies that put government on the side of the people, empowering them to counter much of the corporate greed preventing their upward mobility.

Second, the government's national mobilization for World War II created an explosion of new jobs, growth and opportunities for millions who'd long been blocked from sharing in our nation's prosperity. The war effort opened people's eyes, boosted confidence and raised expectations, leading to a post-war rise in unionism, passage of the GI Bill, a housing boom and a doubling of the median family income in only 30 years. In short, by the late 1970s, we had created a middle class that included nearly 60 percent of Americans.

Then—pffft—the momentum was gone. Beginning in the 1980s, right-wing Republicans and Democratic comparatists switched sides, and ever since they've increasingly allowed corporate lobbyists and campaign donors to disempower America's workaday majority, further enrich themselves and impose an abominable, un-American culture of inequality across our land.

Just as progressives deliberately pushed public policies to create the middle class, so are today's economic royalists deliberately pushing plutocratic policies to destroy it. That is the momentous struggle that calls us to …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Aziz Ansari and #MeToo Backlash: We Won't Stop Talking About Consent

January 17, 2018 in Blogs

By Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon

A slew of columnists say #MeToo has gone too far—it hasn’t. The conversation about consent won’t be shut down.


Ladies, it's one thing if we can get a few dozen of us together to corroborate about an alleged serial rapist. Even then, though, are we sure we want to ruin a man's legacy like that? But when we start naming names when the guy was just messing around, or when we didn't stop him when he pushed a head to his crotch, well, that's quite enough. Seems like the real problem here is … us.

The past several months have brought a deluge of revelations both large and small about sexual harassment and abuse, both in and out of the workplace. They've marked a profound cultural shift in the way we talk about sex and power. Men have lost jobs, lost elections. And when actions start to have consequences, it's time to trot out the inevitable terrible opinions.

The year kicked off with a much-shared New York Times op-ed by Daphne Merkin, who declared that “privately, I suspect, many of us, including many longstanding feminists, will be rolling our eyes, having had it with the reflexive and unnuanced sense of outrage that has accompanied this cause from its inception.” Merkin, it seems, is already wary of “the sort of social intimidation that is the underside of a culture of political correctness.” Nor is she alone.

The issue took on new urgency in mid-January, when rumors circulated that reliable bad-take factory Katie Roiphe was preparing a feature for Harper's that would name the woman behind the famed “sh**y men” document. The Google document, which began in October, names a variety of male media figures and a spectrum of behaviors ranging from the “inappropriate” and unprofessional to full-fledged assault. A few of the men on the list have since been investigated and vacated their positions.

After word of the Harper's piece got out, the creator of the list, Moira Donegan, swiftly revealed herself in a bracing and nuanced piece for The Cut. In it, she discussed the reasons for the list and for the variety of behaviors on it. “This …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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This Huge Women’s March Drowned Out a Presidential Inauguration in 1913

January 17, 2018 in History

By Erin Blakemore

The official program of the Woman Suffrage Procession on March 3, 1913, in Washington, DC. (Credit: VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images)

As Woodrow Wilson and his aides waited for the train to pull into the station, they braced themselves for crowds and chaos. The Democratic nominee had beaten both a sitting president—incumbent William Howard Taft—and a former one, Theodore Roosevelt, who ran as a third-party candidate. Now, he was on the verge of moving into the White House—and more convinced than ever that God had destined him to become President.

Expecting a hero’s welcome in Washington on the day before his inauguration as the 28th President of the United States, Wilson and his aides were surprised to be met not with a bang, but a whimper. A few college students greeted him with a song, but the train platform was strangely bare.

“Where are all the people?” an aide asked.

“Watching the parade,” someone replied.

The start of Wilson’s presidency had just been overshadowed by a historic event—a massive suffrage parade that relegated his inauguration to a mere historical footnote. More than a century before the Women’s March diverted attention from the inauguration of President Donald Trump and made headlines of its own, the unconventional parade captured the nation’s attention, galvanizing public support and setting the stage for Wilson’s turbulent relationship with the women’s movement.

The official program of the Woman Suffrage Procession on March 3, 1913, in Washington, DC. (Credit: VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images)

At the time, the concept of suffrage for women was still broadly unpopular in the United States. Though some states allowed women to vote, the idea rankled men and women who thought that women should stay home and let their husbands exercise political power. Though suffragists had long agitated for the vote, the movement felt stagnant and lacked national support, and the defeat of Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party in the recent election felt like a further blow to the prospect of suffrage.

The national movement might have lacked energy, but Alice Paul didn’t. The 28-year-old had just returned to the United States from a kind of suffrage apprenticeship in England, where she had become friends with radical suffragists and learned more about their militant tactics. Paul was passionately committed to the cause, and she thought American suffragists could learn a thing or two from their English sisters.

<span …read more

Source: HISTORY

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Filibuster in Cuba, Part 1

January 17, 2018 in Economics

By Chris Calton

Historical Controversies Podcast: Season 2

By: Chris Calton

When Cuban slave owners started to worry that Spain was going to emancipate their slaves, Narciso López thought that the time was ripe to start a revolution to overthrow Spanish rule. American expansionists hoping for the annexation of Cuba volunteered to help López, and many of these expansionists wanted to see Cuba turned into a new slave state.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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A Regulated Economy Leads to a Socialist Economy

January 17, 2018 in Economics

By Ludwig von Mises

red tape.jpg

By: Ludwig von Mises

What is interventionism?

Interventionism means that the government does not restrict its activity to the preservation of order, or—as people used to say a hundred years ago—to “the production of security.” Interventionism means that the government wants to do more. It wants to interfere with market phenomena.

If one objects and says the government should not interfere with business, people very often answer: “But the government necessarily always interferes. If there are policemen on the street, the government interferes. It interferes with a robber looting a shop or it prevents a man from stealing a car.” But when dealing with interventionism and defining what is meant by interventionism, we are speaking about government interference with the market. (That the government and the police are expected to protect the citizens, which includes businessmen, and of course their employees, against attacks on the part of domestic or foreign gangsters, is in fact a normal, necessary expectation of any government. Such protection is not an intervention, for the government’s only legitimate function is, precisely, to produce security.)

What we have in mind when we talk about interventionism is the government’s desire to do more than prevent assaults and fraud. Interventionism means that the government not only fails to protect the smooth functioning of the market economy, but that it interferes with the various market phenomena; it interferes with prices, with wage rates, interest rates, and profits.

The government wants to interfere in order to force businessmen to conduct their affairs in a different way than they would have chosen if they had obeyed only the consumers. Thus, all the measures of interventionism by the government are directed toward restricting the supremacy of consumers. The government wants to arrogate to itself the power, or at least a part of the power, which, in the free market economy, is in the hands of the consumers.

Let us consider one example of interventionism, very popular in many countries and tried again and again by many governments, especially in times of inflation. I refer to price control.

Governments usually resort to price control when they have inflated the money supply and people have begun to complain about the resulting rise in prices. There are many famous historical examples of price control methods that failed, but I shall refer to only two of them because, in both these cases, the governments were really very energetic in enforcing or trying …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE