Louis Farrakhan has nothing on Richard Nixon. While Mr. Farrakhan openly spews his anti-Semitism for all the world to hear, the late President corralled his own anti-Semitic slurs within the cozy confines of the Oval Office. Speaking from across the years on a new batch of tapes that have just arrived like the West Nile virus, Nixon erases any doubt that he saw Jewish people as an enemy out to destroy him and the rest of America. Never mind that some of Nixon’s greatest successes came from relying on his Jewish Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger.
The new tapes capture 445 hours of Nixonia from February through July 1971. At the time, The New York Times had just published the Pentagon Papers, and Nixon focused his anger on The Times ‘ Washington bureau chief, Max Frankel. “Don’t give them anything,” he tells his White House cohorts. “And because of that damned Jew Frankel all the time–he’s bad, you know. Don’t give him anything.” Nixon felt Defense Department analyst Daniel Ellsberg had leaked the Pentagon Papers. “Incidentally,” Nixon says of Mr. Ellsberg, “I hope to God he’s not Jewish, is he?” A staff member replies: “I’m sure he is. Ellsberg?” Nixon then says, “I hope not, I hope not. It’s a bad thing for us.” When Judge Murray Gurfein is assigned to the White House’s legal case to prevent The Times from publishing the Pentagon Papers, Nixon generously says, “I like Gurfein fine. He’s a Jew, a liberal. But I think tough. But he may be sucking up to the liberal left. In New York, you just can’t tell what happens to those guys.”
Of course, the Jewish conspiracy in Nixon’s mind merged with the Communist plot. “The only two non-Jews in the Communist conspiracy were Chambers and Hiss,” he says. “Many felt that Hiss was. He could have been a half, but he was not by religion. The only two non-Jews. Every other one was a Jew. And it raised hell with us.”
The perverse punch line to these twisted monologues is that the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation in Yorba Linda, Calif., upon hearing the new tapes, issued a straight-faced statement saying that Nixon was no anti-Semite. Only Presidential aspirant Patrick Buchanan, who thinks Hitler wasn’t such a bad guy after all, would agree.
Are the Poor Getting Poorer?
In order to justify their existence, some social service agencies simply refuse to concede that there is such a thing as upward mobility, and that one of the sure signs of a strong economy is the constant influx of immigrants who start out poor but who have no intention of staying that way. Instead, such people point to dubious numbers in an attempt to show that the poor are still poor, no matter how well others are doing.
There’s no doubt that some New Yorkers are struggling, that poverty remains unconquered here as it is everywhere. But when the Community Service Society of New York, a Manhattan-based social services organization, tries to persuade us that the number of poor people in the city hasn’t changed despite unprecedented prosperity, it is playing fast and loose with statistics.
The Society, using Census Bureau numbers, just released a study purportedly showing that the percentage of New York households currently living below the poverty line, about 24 percent, has barely changed since the recession years of the early 1990’s. Several media outlets swallowed the report whole. The implicit charge, of course, is that those who were poor 10 years ago still are poor, indeed, have gotten none of the benefits of the great, end-of-century bull market.
That’s simply nonsense. While there’s no doubt that some people have not seen their condition improve, the fact is we live in one of the most economically dynamic cities in the world, a place where people work hard, improve themselves and are in turn replaced by the proverbial huddled masses who wish to do likewise. With some exceptions, yesterday’s poor are not today’s poor–they are today’s middle class. And today’s poor are tomorrow’s middle class.
A city like New York, with its tolerant attitude toward immigrants and its economic diversity, will always attract poor people from around the globe, and with good reason. They know that they will have a chance in New York to improve their prospects. Not everybody succeeds. But when the city is as prosperous as it is today, hard work reaps rewards, and it is simply wrong to suggest otherwise. The Society’s poverty report is actually an indication of strength, of influx and change, not a doomsday warning.
But apparently some groups simply feel a need to be bearers of bad news, however distorted. Could it be that they’re feeling a pressing need to justify their own existence?
His and Hers Stress
The question of which spouse is under more stress can cause acute skirmishes among modern, two-career, three-kid, six-figure-mortgage couples. Now that both sexes have perfected the whiny art of victimhood, it often ends in a sullen draw.
But new research will now add another round to the fight: According to Women’s Health Watch , a newsletter published by Harvard Medical School, the ladies have it–more stress, that is. The study, which polled 30,000 people from 30 countries, found that no matter whether married or single, wealthy or not, childless or fruitful, women experience more stress than men when placed in the same situation. Not surprisingly, working women with kids reported the highest stress. Another similar study has found that women, much more so than men, often feel pressured to live up to society’s expectations as well as their own. Which creates a Catch-22: When women do not meet those expectations, they report feeling guilty; when they succeed, they feel overwhelmed and burnt out.
In any case, the next time sparks fly over who has to take Junior to 8 A.M. Saturday soccer practice, women have science safely on their side.