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40 Years Ago

August 27, 2009

Some time ago the community college for whom my sister works decided to get rid of some physical copies of old periodicals, and so my sister picked up the issue of Time magazine from the week I was born in 1969. I flipped through the magazine this week and as you might expect, nearly every item in the issue was in regard to a story or topic of little relevance today.

Here’s an add for a new fangled device called a “color TV”.  The ad seeks to educate consumers about how to judge the quality of the color, look at pictures of people’s faces.

color tv

Here is an article about whether the military should give up the draft.
avf

Several of the ads were for technologies that have become obsolete with the era of personal computers.

Look at the size of these calculators.  The company is seeking to differentiate itself from its competition on the basis of better customer support and training.  How hard were these calculators to use anyway?

Look at the size of these calculators. The company is seeking to differentiate itself from its competition on the basis of better customer support and training. How hard were these calculators to use anyway?

Don't you worry your pretty little head miss.

Newly liberated Mary Tyler Moore type independent women will be more comfortable dealing with auto mechanics who keep auto service records on microfilm.

Of course in the era before email business communication had to be conducted using paper memos and mail.

mail room

I thought that was what group text messages were for?

I thought that was what group text messages were for?

We would call this form of communication “snail mail”, but in 1969 the term had a different meaning.

snail mail

Have you ever wondered why each page of a powerpoint presentation is called a “slide”?  Here’s why:

Before digital projectors, presentations were stored on traslucent pieces of film which would "slide" in and out of place in a focused beam of light.

Before digital projectors, presentations were stored on traslucent pieces of film which would "slide" in and out of place in a focused beam of light.

But with all things that are different between 2009 and 1969, one thing has remained a constant until just this week.

cover

Ted Kennedy in the Senate.  Empires have fallen.  Wars have been lost and won.  New technologies have revolutionized nearly every aspect of our lives.  But Ted Kennedy remained.

The glowing piece of hagiography in the Time issue was published mere months before the Senator allowed Mary Jo Kopeckne to die in his back seat by waiting hours before reporting to the police that he had driven his car off the Chappaquidic Bridge.  Many suspected (with no physical evidence) that the Senator was waiting for his blood alcohol level to drop in order to save his political career.

But all that was in the future in January of 1969, as was the rest of Kennedy’s storied career.  Ted Kennedy went on to lead the successful effort to cut off all aid to the southern Republic of Viet Nam after American troops had already left the country.  The Army of the Republic of Viet Nam was holding its own against the National Liberation Front with the aid of American arms and funding, and may well have won the war had Congress not betrayed our ally and cut off all assistance.  Thousands (at least) of South Vietnamese died in re-education camps as Ho Chi Minh imposed totalitarian rule on the south.

In 1986 Kennedy leveled the most vile calumny against the honorable Robert Bork after Regan appointed him to the Supreme Court.

Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, children could not be taught about evolution.

Kennedy’s smear (not a word of which was true), and the left-wing propaganda effort behind it, scuttled Bork’s nomination.

Most recently, the terminally ill Kennedy urged the legislature of Massachusetts to change the state’s law regarding filling of vacant senate seats.  Under current law, the seat must be filled by a special election, which wouldn’t take place for several months, leaving the seat vacant.  Kennedy urged legislature to change the law so as to allow the governor, currently a Democrat, to appoint an interim replacement until the election.   But it was Kennedy himself who had convinced the legislature to require  special elections back in 2004.  At that time Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts was running for President.  Had Kerry won, the Republican governor at that time, Mitt Romney, would have been able to fill Kerry’s vacancy.  So apparently Senator Kennedy’s position was that only Democrat governors should have the power to fill vacant senate seats.

God’s power to forgive is unlimited.  I certainly hope and pray for mercy when my time comes.  Pray for Edward Kennedy, that he may rest in peace.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Flex727 permalink
    August 27, 2009 9:48 pm

    Terrific post, Mack. Small nitpick: “Thousands (at least) of South Vietnamese died”? I know you qualify with “at least”, but it was certainly a couple of orders of magnitude greater, eh? Not to even mention the Laotians and Cambodians.

    Having been all of 15 years old in 1969, I clearly remember the stuff you mention in your post. Color TVs were all about skin tone, mostly because they were so poor at it. How hard were calculators to use? Not very, but we weren’t as smart back then. It’s funny how wordy ads were back then. It’s like we had longer attention spans or something.

    You say (regarding the Bork speech), “Kennedy’s smear (not a word of which was true)…”. What about “and” and “the”? I noticed you selected a snippet without those clearly truthful words. :-))

    We are all thankful for God’s unlimited power of forgiveness. Very nice sentiment at the end of your post.

  2. August 27, 2009 11:34 pm

    David Frum’s thoughts on Kennedy are worth reading.

    http://www.newmajority.com/senator-ted-kennedy

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