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Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:22 AM

 

What if JFK, MLK and RFK had lived?

Would we have had Vietnam?

Would we have had Reagan?

Would we have had W?

Where would we be , as a people, in the process of healing?

There are some serious unattended wounds on this country....

49 replies, 3625 views

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Arrow 49 replies Author Time Post
Reply What if JFK, MLK and RFK had lived? (Original post)
Taverner Dec 2012 OP
NYC_SKP Dec 2012 #1
Taverner Dec 2012 #4
oldhippydude Dec 2012 #27
Art_from_Ark Dec 2012 #9
oldhippydude Dec 2012 #29
Art_from_Ark Dec 2012 #47
JaneyVee Dec 2012 #2
Taverner Dec 2012 #3
JaneyVee Dec 2012 #5
SummerSnow Dec 2012 #32
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #37
SummerSnow Dec 2012 #39
Octafish Dec 2012 #44
hifiguy Dec 2012 #46
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #48
Taverner Dec 2012 #43
DakotaLady Dec 2012 #16
villager Dec 2012 #6
Taverner Dec 2012 #8
CrispyQ Dec 2012 #31
Lydia Leftcoast Dec 2012 #7
Taverner Dec 2012 #11
Lydia Leftcoast Dec 2012 #24
Taverner Dec 2012 #45
LeftInTX Dec 2012 #10
The Straight Story Dec 2012 #12
Overseas Dec 2012 #14
Laelth Dec 2012 #28
SummerSnow Dec 2012 #33
Overseas Dec 2012 #13
LeftInTX Dec 2012 #15
gordianot Dec 2012 #17
Taverner Dec 2012 #21
Art_from_Ark Dec 2012 #23
davidpdx Dec 2012 #18
LeftInTX Dec 2012 #19
Taverner Dec 2012 #20
davidpdx Dec 2012 #22
Lydia Leftcoast Dec 2012 #26
datasuspect Dec 2012 #25
Johonny Dec 2012 #30
CrispyQ Dec 2012 #34
Johonny Dec 2012 #41
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #38
HughBeaumont Dec 2012 #35
Taverner Dec 2012 #42
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #36
allrevvedup Dec 2012 #40
MinM Dec 2012 #49

Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:26 AM

1. I surmise that you are between the ages of 50 and 60 years.

Maybe a bit older.

I feel the same way but couldn't vote until 1978, and that seems odd.

Bobby Kennedy came by my town when I was just 11 and it was transformative.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:37 AM

4. 42. Male. Californian.

 

I shouldn't be weepy about this - my parents (silent gen) aren't -

although....

My mom supported Obama because she wanted her children to have a "Kennedy Moment"

I understand completely


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Response to Taverner (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 11:06 AM

27. that was what i was telling folks in 08

often with tears in my eyes... " I have waited 40 years for this election" 68 was the first year I was politically active, worked for Gene Mc Carty early, looked to RFK when he was shot..

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:08 AM

9. I'm a little confused here

If you were 11 when Bobby Kennedy came to your town, that could not have been any later than June 1968. So that means you were at least 19, and thus of legal voting age, when the 1976 election was held

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 11:11 AM

29. actually the voting age at that time was 21

I was born in 46, so was 22 in 68... the 18 year old vote happened a couple of years later..

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Response to oldhippydude (Reply #29)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:01 AM

47. But if you go back and read the post I was replying to,

the poster said that he was 11 when Bobby Kennedy came to his town, but could not vote until *1978*. Since the 26th Amendment gave 18-20-year-olds the right to vote in 1971, that would mean that the poster would have had the right to vote in the 1976 election, since he would have been at least 19 by then.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:30 AM

2. Wow. The deaths of those men dramatically changed the course of history.

If they had lived we would be living in a completely different world.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:36 AM

3. Especially now that we know now that JFK was opposed to Vietnam...

 

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Response to Taverner (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:39 AM

5. That alone could have changed the course of human history. Intense.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 11:48 AM

32. The Vietnam war would have never happened ..

My uncle would probably still be living.He was drafted sent to Vietnam killed there in 1966.He was 19.They never sent his body home cause he not only was shot to death he drowned in the river.They sent his uniform home and his personal belongings.My mother and him were very close just a year apart.When I got older I would see her reading his letters from Nam and hoping this war would be over and how scared he was.He wanted to come home.My mother would read those letters and cry then she would start drinking to deal with the pain of losing him.Damn now she's gone.

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Response to SummerSnow (Reply #32)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:00 PM

37. Your post made me cry for your uncle, your mother and for you. I do want to point out, though,

 

that JFK might well have escalated our involvement in Vietnam after 1964, much as LBJ did. Historians are sharply divided on what JFK planned after his re-election. Everything I've read says JFK liked to keep his options open on Vietnam and put off making a decision until and unless his hand was forced.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #37)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:10 PM

39. hmm.never thought about that.

Thank you for your symphathy and thanks for the information.I'm going to bring your point up to my siblings.It's like we would never know if JFK. would have ended that war or made it worse. But I will read about it further.But I won't read Bill O'reilys book on Kennedy. That period in history is very intense,so much was going on.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #37)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:14 PM

44. It's pretty clear JFK was going to pull out. He signed NSAM 263, ordering complete withdrawal.

Four days after the assassination, LBJ signed NSAM 273, effectively countermanding NSAM 263. Then, a few months later, LBJ went along with the Gulf of Tonkin fiction as the pretext for sending in the Marines and later the Army and the rest of the draftees.

Details and links:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x5501005

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Response to Octafish (Reply #44)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:49 PM

46. Yep. JFK repeatedly told Kenny O'Donnell,

one of his closest advisers and friends, that he would pull all US personnel out of Vietnam following his anticipated victory in 1964. That's the uncontroverted history.

I still think that the Vietnam War was at least in part extorted out of LBJ by TPTB/MIC as the price for the Great Society.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #44)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 04:09 AM

48. NSAM 263, as I understand it, was conditioned upon success by the puppets

 

in governing South Vietnam. IOW, if and only if the puppets were able to self-govern, then the U.S. would pull out. Otherwise, faced with the rule of the inept and corrupt council of generals and continued gains by the NLF in the countryside, JFK might equally have opted to escalate.

I'm not cooking this up out of thin air - it is the assessment of most serious historians who have studied the Kennedy administration and its foreign policy.

Please don't misunderstand me. I think JFK showed an enormous capacity for growth as a human being while in office and it is possible that, after Jan. 1965, he very well might have withdrawn as the moral bankruptcy of our policy made itself ever clearer. But the consensus is that, in November 1963, JFK was keeping his options open. Seen through one lens, that's effective leadership and policy-making.

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Response to SummerSnow (Reply #32)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:13 PM

43. Your post made me tear up....

 

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:28 AM

16. I have wondered this too ...

... so many times. As I'm older than dirt - I remember what we had and I worry so much about tomorrow.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:01 AM

6. There was a reason all three of them were deliberately killed.

n/t

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Response to villager (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:05 AM

8. ....

 

....


Yes

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Response to villager (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 11:42 AM

31. This.

Tragic, the lost potential, the lost possibilities.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:05 AM

7. If JFK, RFK, and MLK had lived and had been able to follow through with their visions

we might have been like the Scandinavian countries.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:20 AM

11. Or it would have created a backlash that gave us Reagan in 68

 

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Response to Taverner (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 10:57 AM

24. I don't know about that

RFK was running in 1968, so it would have been too early for a backlash then.

Do you think that if we had gotten real universal health care by 1972 and withdrawn from Vietnam that there would have been a backlash?

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #24)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:17 PM

45. RFK wanted Single Payer, Universal Health Care

 

He really wanted that to be the the legacy he left - - that's why Ted fought so hard for it.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:12 AM

10. My dad did a TOD in Vietnam under JFK

But, it wasn't anything like the one he did under LBJ

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:22 AM

12. weird timing

I was just posting on FB on Wolfman Jack Lives on and this song came up, then came to DU and saw this thread:

Paul Simon began working on the song some time after the Kennedy assassination. He had made progress on the music but had yet to get down the lyrics. On 19 February 1964, the lyrics coalesced, as Simon recalled: "The main thing about playing the guitar, though, was that I was able to sit by myself and play and dream. And I was always happy doing that. I used to go off in the bathroom, because the bathroom had tiles, so it was a slight echo chamber. I'd turn on the faucet so that water would run I like that sound, it's very soothing to me and I'd play. In the dark. 'Hello darkness, my old friend / I've come to talk with you again'."

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:24 AM

14. I never knew.

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 11:07 AM

28. Nifty. Thanks. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 11:50 AM

33. I love that song

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:22 AM

13. K&R.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:25 AM

15. I don't think we would have had Reagan or W

I think Vietnam would still have been an issue.
I don't think it would have been as bad as it was. Maybe like our involvement with Kosovo or Central America.

LBJ's advisors were also JFK's advisors. I think JFK would have used better judgment than LBJ. On the other hand, I don't think he would have simply walked away from Vietnam.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:29 AM

17. I agree completely they would have changed history add one more name Jerry Litton from Missouri.

Litton is largely forgotten today, he died in a suspicious small plane crash the evening he won his Democratic Senate Primary in Missouri in 1976. Shades of Paul Wellstone. Litton was electrifying, a rising star of reason, a populist liberal. To be in the same room when he spoke is never to be forgotten. Litton had regular televised town hall meetings that were very popular and excited every one I knew who saw them, unimaginable today. After Robert Kennedy's assassination followed by Litton's death I have never felt the same about any politician. To this day when I meet people who heard Jerry Litton speak knew he was destined for greatness........ Yes, what could have been.

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Response to gordianot (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:53 AM

21. Thanks for the suggestion - I will look him up

 

Do you know about Henry Wallace?

Another hero denied...

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Response to gordianot (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:54 AM

23. I remember Jerry Litton

I agree with your assessment.

And RFK and Jerry Litton both died just a few hours after primary victories.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:29 AM

18. Good question

I was born after all three of them died so my only perception is based on history. The better question is how many Republicans were assassinated during that period of time? I am pretty sure I already know the answer.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:44 AM

19. Reagan was shot

I hate hate hate to say this, but I was actually happy at the time. And I was actually sad when he pulled through. I kept thinking, why do the Democrats die?

Isn't that awful of me to think?



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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:46 AM

20. No. Knowing what we know now, no.

 

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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:53 AM

22. Well the other three were killed in the 60s weren't they?

I think it's not a coincidence that the three all died within a short period of time (5 years). I remember where I was when Reagan was shot, in elementary school. I didn't become interested in politics until a few years after that.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 11:04 AM

26. MLK (advocate of non-violent change and economic justice) and RFK (advocate of peace and

economic justice) being assassinated two months apart?

The case of James Earl Ray (assassin of MLK) is especially weird. A no-account drifter is arrested after getting off a FIRST CLASS flight to London? We're talking about a time when a coach flight to Europe could cost a month's income.

There are a lot of unanswered questions about RFK's assassination, too, such as tapes of LA police badgering a witness into recanting her account of two people running out the kitchen entrance after the assassination, saying "We got him" in Spanish, or the fact that many of the files were destroyed, supposedly to free up storage space.

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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 10:58 AM

25. no

 

the guy who shot him should have got a medal.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 11:40 AM

30. People might have ended up seeing them as sell outs

The thing about dieing youngish is you are forever frozen in time in peoples mind. You are never going to be able to voice an opinion on future events or change your mind or just get old and look like you are behind the times etc...

This is why generation after generation find people like Jim Morrison, Edgar Allen Poe or Jimi Hendrix appealing while they can be turned off by Bob Dylan, The Who or the Rolling Stones. (see a lot of comments from the other night) Jim Morrison is never going to find God, make a Gospel Album..etc If you die before you get old, you are a lot safer to admire because as a fan you know they are never going to disappoint you.

A lot of people see the older Jessie Jackson as a carpet bagging self promoter who finds trouble to make a personal appearance, could MLK have ended the same way?

A lot of people see Clinton and Obama as mild conservatives that did little to push back on the conservative agenda and in the end enabled the current American Would JFK or RFK with Vietnam and height of the cold war end up the same way? Think what happen to Johnson.

We won't know for sure because they died. There is something about dieing young around your peak in popularity that helps us remember people as great compared to people that tend to fade away. Had JFK or MLK lived they might not of helped in healing because we might not see them the same way. The same way people remember Jim Morrison forever as the young rebel rocker and see Pete Townshend as a sell out.

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Response to Johonny (Reply #30)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 11:54 AM

34. You make a good point, but I'm going to play devil's advocate.

One could argue that Reagan ushered in the everything-for-profit era & we as a society bought into it. Thus, the Rolling Stones sold out, because, after all, they were just doing what our culture does now.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #34)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:51 PM

41. If you listen to Townshend

a lot of rock and rollers of the 60s era felt the sell out came with the stadium shows. The writing style for huge stadium events is different than than writing for small arena's and clubs. By the late 70s you had Townshend, Clapton, The Eagles, Pink Floyd among others writing about the negative aspects of music as a business and feeling like sell outs. It also inspired the punk revolution in the late 70s.

The seeds of Reagan's greed is good were there from the 50s to the 70s, it just exploded in the 80s under Reagan. Listen to Dick Dale bitch about money and realize everything-for-profit has been around a long time before Reagan. Everything old is new again.

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Response to Johonny (Reply #30)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:06 PM

38. Excellent points. I do think, though, had MLK

 

lived and continued on the trajectory he was following at the time of his death, that we might have avoided 9-11, Abu Ghraib and the assorted horrors of the fascists.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 11:55 AM

35. I posted this a while ago regarding this very subject (at least as far as the Kennedys go) . . . .

The Criminal Illuminati Agency wasn't letting ANY highly popular left-leaning Democratic family become a political dynasty.

Giving JFK (who stood up to Steel bosses and the nuclear-war-happy MIC) two terms would have been counterproductive to the Republican/MIC/Corptocracy's long term plans.

An RFK win would have seriously swayed America to, you know, NOT be the "USA USA USA"-chanting, jingo-drugged, fearful, completely-corporate-dependent, easily swayed, accepting of lower and lower standards, obedient nation that it is today.

Conspiratorial? Think about it.

When did American wages start getting suppressed? 1973.
When did energy start becoming an overwhelming concern? the early 70s.
What happened in the 60s that you would never see happen today? People protested against the Republican/MIC folly wars and it got televised. Protests are no more than a belch, a blip on today's entertainment-based "news".
When did the Republican party team up with corporations to institute this permanent plague of power and wealth transfer from the poor to the rich (reciprocated with risk, cost of living and tax burden transfer to the poor)? The 1970s
When did this grand plan get permanently nailed? REAGAN.

Since 1968, there have only been THREE Democratic presidents. And no offense to Carter, but it's not like any of them can really be considered truly "Democratic" in a liberal sense, especially not the last two. Being fully on board with Republican "Trickle Down" & Deregulation bullshitnomics isn't Democratic, it's caving to the needs of the ruling class. These were always "approved" Democrats . . . never even the slightest bit liberal, always moderate to Eisenhower Republican at best.

It's no accident that we're likely never going to have a progressive President.

The only dynasty in this country is, and will always be, BUSH. Whether we like it or not.

We're not meant to ask "what could have been". We're only plagued with accepting "how it's going to be from now on". The Kennedys were never meant to thrive. They had ideas, brains, plans and vision that would have swayed America to become an organized working ideal that government and corporations feared.

Instead, the U.S. since the late 60s set the trend in arch-conservative corporate-based "governance" with a glacial but ubiquitous power-grab and continues stridently to make life as miserable and as "stay-put" to it's obedient, timid and completely dependent wage slaves as possible.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #35)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:10 PM

42. This wasn't done by some cabal...this was done by corporate America in plain view

 

There are no secret Illuminati cabals - there is the board of directors at Chase Manhattan.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 11:56 AM

36. If Hitler had been admitted to art school, there might never have

 

been a Nazi Germany.

If Gavrilo Princip had not shot Archduke Ferdinand, there might never have been Hitler.

If Bismarck had not unified Prussia, there might never have been Princip.

It's an infinite regression.

There are serious unattended wounds in this country and they need to be attended to. With all deliberate speed.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:27 PM

40. Great question. I think we can get a pretty clear idea

 

from JFK's 1960 campaign book, "The Strategy of Peace," which I recently got hold of. Here's what my used copy looks like:



It's mainly devoted to foreign policy, his two main initiatives being world peace and nuclear disarmament, but he also has a section on domestic policy, "America's Readiness for World Responsibility," that goes through each area pretty thoroughly: Civil rights (he calls them civil liberties); scientific research and all levels of education including "A New Horizon for Negro Education"; farm, trade, and industrial policies, and a whole separate section on what he calls the "Economic Gap" (a play on "missile gap"), namely unequal distribution of wealth in the US and in the world. It's pretty sharp. I've posted a few juicy quotes on this thread which I need to update:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021965229

All in all it's a safer, more prosperous, and more generous world that Kennedy envisions, good for the people but less good for oil companies and war profiteers, and we know how that turned out. My guess is that if all 3 had lived there's also a good chance we'd be several years past fossil fuels and already utilizing cleaner, as-yet-to-be exploited technologies on a large scale.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 12:44 PM

49. John F. Kennedy @ American University

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