August 9, 2009 by Robert Nedelkoff | Filed Under American Politics, Frost/Nixon, John Dean At The Nixon Library, News media, Nixon Administration, Nixon Administration figures, Nixon Library, Nixon in the News, Presidents, Richard Nixon, TV News, U.S. History, Watergate | 2 Comments
Today marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of President Nixon’s resignation, and since I wrote about coverage of this last night, some more articles and op-eds of note have appeared. Apart from the memorable discussion of RN’s achievements on this morning’s Chris Matthews Show, discussed in Jonathan Movroydis’s post below, I have not seen or read about any mention of the anniversary on TV.
Right now MSNBC, for example, is finishing yet another hour of programming about the Manson murders, since today is also the fortieth anniversary of the murder of Sharon Tate and four others, while other networks have already started running shows about Woodstock’s 40th.
(It may be that a lot of younger viewers nowadays wonder how the coverage of Charles Manson affected the coverage of Woodstock in August 1969. It didn’t, since no one, apart from the killers themselves and a few who had crossed their paths, had any idea at the time who had committed the murders. It was not until December 1 of that year that arrest warrants were issued in the Tate case, which brought Manson’s evil to light, and less than a week later the disastrous free festival at Altamont, immortalized in the documentary Gimme Shelter, continued the ominous note on which the decade finished.)
But the Nixon Administration did come up in today’s New York Times online roundtable about Woodstock’s 40th. The participants include such notables as Nixonland author Rick Perlstein, novelist Ishmael Reed, social critic Morris Dickstein, and historian Joan Hoff, author of Nixon Reconsidered. Perlstein makes no mention of RN in his contribution, but Ms. Hoff discusses at some length why she thinks that ”Woodstock had little or nothing to do with the radical-conservative change in politics” that began during the Nixon years; she thinks that the big political story of the period was the rise of neoconservatism and the role it played in the emergence of Ronald Reagan on the national scene.
At NPR’s website, Daniel Schorr, who will turn 93 at the end of this month, speaks of the resignation and how it changed American perceptions of the presidency. He concludes:
After 35 years, Nixon is enjoying a revival of interest because of Frost/Nixon, first a stage play, then a movie based on Nixon’s 1977 television interviews with David Frost, for which Nixon was paid $600,000 — triple his annual salary as president.
For that, Frost got the closest thing to an apology that Nixon ever uttered for having put America through the wringer.
“I let the American people down,” he said, “and I have to carry that burden with me for the rest of my life.”
He did let the people down. And we are still carrying the burden.
And at Truthdig.com, historian Stanley I. Kutler, author of The Wars Of Watergate, offers some thoughts about the resignation, in a gentler tone than has sometimes been the case when he’s written about the Nixon White House.
Speaking of Kutler naturally brings John W. Dean to mind, since both have frequently criticized what they claim are “revisionist” examinations of the events surrounding Watergate. For the last several months, since his appearance at the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, Dean has shown up from time to time in scenic Southern California locales such as Mission Viejo to promote his apparently self-published reissue of his book Blind Ambition, and last night he spoke to an audience at the Hotel Zoso in Palm Springs.
(Yes, Zoso as in the alternate title of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, the one with “Stairway To Heaven.” For Watergate students familiar to that passage in Blind Ambition in which Dean describes H.R. Haldeman informing him that the President thought he was dressing like a “hippie” because his tie was wider than usual at the White House, this has to produce a chuckle.)
The Desert Sun, Palm Springs’s newspaper, has an account of this event. It’s worth mentioning that the caption to one of the photos that accompanies the Sun’s article refers to the current edition of Blind Ambition as being a “sequel” to the original 1976 edition of the book. The truth is that, apart from a new afterword of about 100 pages, it is the same book as that published over 30 years ago. The real sequel to Blind Ambition was Dean’s 1982 book Lost Honor, which is mostly forgotten except for the chapter in which Dean argues at length that Gen. Alexander Haig was Deep Throat, a theory he later abandoned.
July 10, 2009 by Robert Nedelkoff | Filed Under John Dean At The Nixon Library, News media, Nixon Administration figures, Nixon Library events, Nixon in the News, TV News Personalities, The New Nixon, U.S. History, Watergate, Yorba Linda | 5 Comments
No, not those tapes.
A little over two weeks ago I posted about one of the webpages of the groundbreaking and very informative nixontapes.org site run by Luke Nichter, an assistant professor of history at Tarleton State University in Texas. This page, at the time I posted, included links to two audio files in which John W. Dean III, White House counsel during the Nixon administration, was featured.
In one file, from a recording of a telephone conversation made in 1989, Dean could be heard explaining that when writing his book about Watergate, Blind Ambition, “I never actually went back and re-read my [Senate Watergate Committee] testimony.” This was by way of explaining why some passages in the book described events in a way somewhat different from what Dean told the Committee two years earlier. A second audio file was an excerpt from a recording made of Dean’s appearance last month at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, to promote the reissue (with a lengthy new afterword) of Blind Ambition.
However, if anyone goes to that part of nixontapes.org now, he or she will find a notice from Professor Nichter stating that these sound files have been removed as a result of a notice from Dean threatening legal action if they remained on the site. (However, the 1989 conversation can still be heard at watergate.com, the site founded by Silent Coup co-author Len Colodny.)
An article at FoxNews.com by Joseph Abrams delineates the situation further. “I merely wanted to bring these contradictions to light and thought I was doing a service, but Dean was absolutely mortified when he found out that I had these materials,” Professor Nichter explains, and notes that his modestly funded site does not have the resources to contest Dean in court.
Indeed, Dean’s previous legal actions against the authors and publisher of Silent Coup and Watergate figure-turned-radio host G. Gordon Liddy have made some journalists nervous. Jim Hougan, whose 1984 book Secret Agenda was the first work to raise substantial questions about Dean’s role in Watergate, refused to comment to Abrams at all about Dean.
But Fox News Washington correspondent James Rosen, author of the 2008 biography of John Mitchell The Strong Man, which contains the most meticulously documented and groundbreaking research into Dean’s role in Watergate to see print thus far, has not been cowed. He told Abrams:
“My book speaks for itself, and I think it’s noteworthy that Dean has entirely avoided engaging its substance. Dean himself is well aware that his historical reputation has suffered enormously in the last two decades, and so he resorts to frivolous litigation and bullying tactics to rehabilitate himself. Not since Albert Speer [Hitler's architectural and technological mastermind] has a historical figure so assiduously used his post-prison writings to muddy and distort the historical record of the events in which he was culpable.”
Although Dean was one of the younger figures to be involved in the Watergate scandal, he is 70 now, so one wonders for how much longer his story of what happened will continue to go unchallenged by many journalists and historians.
At www.nixontapes.org, Luke Nichter of Tarleton State University (who was extensively quoted in the AP article Frank Gannon discusses below) takes a look at John Dean’s appearance at the Nixon Presidential Library last week. (This post also appears at History News Network, where it is accompanied by a comment by Maarja Krusten, whose thoughtful remarks have so often appeared at TNN.)
In his Wednesday lecture at the Nixon Presidential Library, disgraced and former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean devoted a portion of his time to address his lawsuit against the authors of Silent Coup: The Removal of a President. Interestingly enough, Fox News correspondent and author of The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate James Rosen wrote in a 1997 column for National Review that during a deposition in connection with the case, Dean — cornered by defense counsel — disavowed his own memoirs:
But every twenty pages or so — and Dean’s deposition runs to roughly two thousand — defense counsel corner Dean into an admission of some value for historians.
Chief among them is Dean’s disavowal of his 1976 memoir, Blind Ambition, upon which Watergate scholars have relied for a generation, and which Dean now admits he never read “cover to cover.” Whenever Dean’s testimony in one of several forums might differ from his book (e.g., Blind Ambition never even mentions the momentous discussion Dean and Mitchell allegedly had about the CIA’s blocking the FBI), Dean attributed the fault to his acknowledged ghost-writer, Taylor Branch. “Absolutely make it up out of whole cloth,” Dean testified about the eventual Pulitzer-winner in one key instance.
Q: As I recall your testimony, Mr. Dean, when asked about particular passages in Blind Ambition, you have explained them in various ways, as either “pure Taylor Branch,” “out of whole cloth,” “conjecture,” “speculation,” “writer’s language,” “reconstruction for the purpose of speculation,” “brush strokes beyond testimony.”
A: Right. . . . I thought this was a good popular and commercial explanation of the events, a good portrait and dramatization of it, but . . . it’s not absolutely accurate . . . for researchers, I’ve always referred them to my testimony.
According to Rosen, Dean also admitted that his testimony wasn’t wholly accurate either, frequently filled with “misstatements,” “overstatement,” “self-serving” statements, and “verbal slips:”
But as the deposition unfolded, Dean grudgingly acknowledged that at times his testimony before the Senate, House of Representatives, and various criminal proceedings included “misstatements,” “overstatement,” “self-serving” state- ments, “verbal slips,” at least two instances of “total forgetfulness,” one case where he was “maybe imposing hindsight on events,” and another, during cross-examination in the Mitchell trial, where he “wasn’t listening careful [sic] . . . and [went] along with a leading question, and I’m not sure why.” One of his written interrogatory responses in the present proceeding Dean defended as “virtually correct.” He did “not particularly prepar[e] for” his testimony before the House impeachment inquiry, and expresses “surprise” that “there aren’t more minor inconsistencies” in his Senate testimony.
While Mr. Dean’s felonies and betrayals are important ethical debates for another post, his self-admitted distortion of the historical record and lapse of memory should raise some fundamental questions to scholars of intellectually honest stock: how credible is John Dean? And how much weight should we give his words?
Shortly after becoming director of the Nixon Library in 2007, Dr. Timothy Naftali invited the nation’s press in to witness the removal of the Nixon Library’s Watergate exhibit. Declaring, “I can’t run a shrine,” he gleefully presided over the destruction of the exhibit, which resulted in numerous articles reporting that the “whitewash of Watergate” was over at the Nixon Library.
Dr. Naftali went on to assert, “The challenge is to present a controversial, traumatic and important story in a fair and historically accurate way.” By any measure, he has failed his own definition of success. Two years later, there’s still no Watergate exhibit. And nothing points to that failure more persuasively than his hosting of John Dean at the Nixon Library.
Allowing John Dean to appear, without any counterbalance on the program, is not fair. Neither does it serve historical accuracy. It is, to put it charitably, nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt, unworthy of any presidential library operated by the National Archives.
When Dr. Naftali went after the original Watergate exhibit with sledgehammers swinging, I took it a bit personally. I was the author of that exhibit. I wrote the text, selected the quotes, chose the photographs and artifacts, and constructed the timeline. I did so in close consultation with President Nixon. I was proud of the job we had done telling the story from RN’s perspective.
When the Library opened in 1990, the Watergate exhibit was, of course, the focus of much scrutiny. Those who found fault focused on the fact that the exhibit didn’t consist of a lengthy mea culpa. They were accurate; it didn’t.
Instead, it sought to share with visitors President Nixon’s point of view on Watergate. When I gave the former President my first draft of the exhibit text, I wrote in my cover memo, quoting Six Crises, ‘‘‘It is not my purpose to relate the complete story. What I shall try to do in these pages is to tell it as I experienced it.’”
That’s what the Watergate exhibit sought to accomplish. It wasn’t a whitewash; it was, in fact, the single largest exhibit in the entire facility. Stretching along the length of a 65-foot long room, it covered everything, from the break-in through the resignation, including the 18 ½ minute gap and the charges about back taxes and improvements to the Nixon homes in San Clemente and Key Biscayne.
President Nixon saw Watergate as his “last campaign.” As the introduction to the exhibit explained it, RN viewed “Watergate” as the fight “for his political life against those who sought to reverse the stunning mandate he had received from the voters on November 7, 1972.”
The exhibit never pretended to be an objective study of Watergate, as if such a thing was then – or is even yet – possible. Yet, the critics howled, as if sharing President Nixon’s view of events in the Library he and his supporters built was a mortal sin. And while the exhibit came under criticism for its point of view, I was pleased that from the day it opened until the day it was removed, not a single error of fact or omission was found in the exhibit. We had constructed a thorough, complete, and factually accurate presentation.
Shortly after Dr. Naftali took over as director, I briefly corresponded with him in an effort to make him aware of the background behind the creation of the original Watergate exhibit and to suggest that the exhibit itself was an artifact. It was quickly obvious that he had no interest in anything I had to share with him. He was clearly on a mission, not to “set a new tone,” as he claimed at the time, but rather to perversely use the Nixon Library as a forum for denigrating the Nixon legacy.
By hosting John Dean without offering any balance, some might conclude that Dr. Naftali is practicing that for which he criticized the Nixon Library – presenting a one-sided version of events. But the truth is far more disturbing and troubling than that.
Tim Naftali is hiding behind the mantle of scholarship and balance to mask what appears to be his true intention: to use the Nixon Library to diminish Richard Nixon and thus raise his own standing in the academic community. In that sense, he is a kindred spirit of John Dean, who used his position in the Nixon administration to destroy the Nixon administration, thereby securing his own reputation among the so-called political elite.
John Dean has been living off of Watergate for nearly 40 years. Let’s hope Tim Naftali’s similar effort is much, much shorter.
June 17, 2009 by Robert Nedelkoff | Filed Under American Politics, John Dean At The Nixon Library, Nixon Administration figures, Nixon Foundation, Nixon Library, Nixon Library events, Nixon in the News, Presidential libraries, Presidents, Richard Nixon, U.S. History, Watergate, Yorba Linda | 1 Comment
Tonight, former Nixon White House counsel
Luke W. – I mean, John W. Dean III appeared at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda. Speaking before an audience of close to 300, according to Melody Chiu of the Orange County Register, he contended that the Richard Nixon Foundation, by criticizing his appearance, “is reviving the dark side of Richard Nixon,” and asserted that the controversy surrounding his remarks was “petty.”
Nixon Library director Timothy Naftali called the appearance “an important milestone,” adding: “All we care about is that [our speakers]are serious and that our community will learn from them. We want to create a forum for serious discussion, debate and education.”
Earlier in the day, Naftali told Rebecca Cathcart of the New York Times’s “The Caucus” blog that Dean’s appearance formed part of an “initiative” to “provide a nonpartisan presentation of the facts of Watergate,” adding that another element of this would be the renovated Watergate exhibit, to be unveiled at the museum in August.
John Dean has lived a charmed life. His rise from an educationally unprepossessing background and a brief and dubious legal career to the office of White House Counsel (1970-1973) was such an extreme example of the Peter Principle that it should have been renamed the Dean Principle.
Then, having served with dishonor in that position, his determination to obtain immunity and avoid punishment for his crimes, combined with his conveniently flexible memory, enabled him to become the stick with which the Watergate investigators and prosecutors preferred to beat his erstwhile bosses, his mentor, and, finally, his President.
As his quest for immunity became more desperate his story began —in the anodyne but devastating words of a Watergate Special Prosecutor’s Office memo— “changing dramatically from his previous stance.”
In the end he came close to getting what he wanted. The man who had been present at the creation and was in charge of the cover-up served only four months — the lightest sentence of any Watergate defendant; and he got to serve them in the comfort of a holding cell for high-profile criminals.
He emerged from this process —at first willy nilly and now, thirty-seven years later, as the result of careful cultivation— as the all-but-hero of Watergate.
In order to buttress his credibility for congressman and cameras and jurors, he had to be presented as a man whose guilty conscience —albeit kicking in a bit late and only when it looked like he was about to get caught— led him to blow the whistle on the men who were only a few steps away from successfully subverting the Constitution.
Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox had John Dean’s number. He saw his guilt as the one basic fact and factor of the whole business. Referring to the cases against Haldeman and Ehrlichman —and even the President— he said: “If everything else goes down the drain the one thing I can cling to is Dean’s venality.”
It is only one of the many ironies of Watergate that the man who —unlike many of his subordinates— was reluctant to allow John Dean to wiggle off the hook, was fired in the Saturday Night Massacre.
When President Nixon learned about the Watergate break-in —reading about it the following morning on the front page of the Miami Herald in his house in Key Biscayne— his first reaction was one of disbelief.
Not —as he later told me in the interviews I conducted with him in 1983— so much because it was wrong, as because it was stupid. No one who knew anything about politics would expect to gain any useful information by bugging the opposition Party’s headquarters; anyone who knew what they were doing would have bugged the opposition candidate.
One of the burglars arrested red handed —or, more accurately, latex handed— in the DNC offices in the Watergate building was James McCord, a former CIA bugging expert who was head of security for the Nixon Re-Election Committee.
The President tasked his chief of staff H. R. Haldeman to find out what had happened and who was responsible. His first concern was to make sure that no one on the White House staff had been involved. McCord’s connection to the Re-Election Committee was bad enough; but any White House involvement could be disastrous.
Haldeman, in turn, called on the young White House Counsel —the President’s lawyer— John W. Dean. Despite his exalted title, Dean was far down on the White House food chain; he undoubtedly saw this assignment as an excellent opportunity to show off his abilities on a matter that might even bring him to the President’s attention.
What he neglected to mention was that he didn’t have to do much investigating to find out what had happened and whether anyone on the White House staff had been involved.
It wasn’t until some time later —and not fully until 21 March 1973— that he revealed that he was their worst nightmare.
He was the White House staff member who had hired burglar-in-chief Gordon Liddy specifically to prepare an intelligence plan for the President’s re-election campaign; and he was the White House staff member who had been present in the Attorney General’s office on the two separate occasions —in January and February 1972— when Liddy first presented, and then refined, his plan that included mugging, prostitutes, kidnapping, and bugging among its components
In order to keep his superiors happy —and in order to continue hiding his own involvement— Dean then became (as he described it) the chief desk officer of the Watergate cover-up. In that duplicitous capacity he suborned perjury, destroyed evidence, and improperly revealed government information. It was, of course, involvement with the cover-up that eventually enmeshed so many, including the President himself.
Watergate covered a multitude of sins, many of which had nothing to do with John Dean. In the poisonous partisan atmosphere of those days, there is no way of knowing whether things would have ended differently.
But one thing is certain. If John Dean had admitted his guilt when he was assigned the task of finding out who was guilty, he would have been removed from that position and things would have developed completely differently.
John Dean has long since been widely consecrated and rewarded as a blower of whistles, a champion of conscience, and a defender of civil liberties. He has, indeed, managed to make a cottage industry out of his ill-deserved reputation, and even latterly emerged as an arbiter of ideological integrity.
But if an objective —and complete— examination of his record were ever made, his scam would be revealed and his life would fast become less charmed.
The strict may decide that John Dean was a bad man. The more compassionate might say that he was only a weak one. Either way, he was in very deep and very far over his head. And he was, to coin a phrase, blindly ambitious. At the outset it probably never occurred to him that, with the power of the presidency behind him, he wouldn’t be able to keep a lid on this problem —and escape punishment for his crimes— for at least the four months until the election, after which it would evaporate with the rest of the conventional campaign controversies.
President Nixon, in my 1983 interviews, was both strict and compassionate. In my inimitable way (if I had it to do over I would be a tad less inimitable) I asked him, “How do you feel about John Dean, in twenty-five words or less, today?” He replied, “I don’t need twenty-five words. He did what he did to save himself, and I understand that.”
Understanding is one thing; but forgetting is something else. John Dean has spent the last three decades trying to make people forget what really happened and what he really did.
Dante reserved the worst, ninth, circle of hell for the betrayers —Judas, Brutus, Cassius. And, to this day, John Dean remains the object of particular contempt and contumely by those who served in RN’s administration. His felonies were illegal, but his betrayals were immoral.
June 16, 2009 by Robert Nedelkoff | Filed Under American Politics, John Dean At The Nixon Library, National Archives, News media, Nixon Administration, Nixon Administration figures, Nixon Foundation, Nixon Library, Nixon Library events, Nixon in the News, Orange County, Presidential libraries, Presidents, Richard Nixon, U.S. History, Watergate, Yorba Linda | 1 Comment
Tomorrow, June 17, is the thirty-seventh anniversary of the Watergate break-in. At the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, it will be marked by a lecture and book-signing by John W. Dean III, counsel to the President from 1970 until 1973, convicted felon (for obstruction of justice, to which he pled guilty on November 30 of the latter year), and one of the central figures in the Watergate scandal.
Several months ago, when discussing a post Dean made on the site The Daily Beast in which he defended historian Stanley I. Kutler from criticism of the latter’s transcriptions of the Nixon tapes, I noted that in it he said he planned to reissue his first book Blind Ambition, his own account of Watergate, with new material. That book will be republished tomorrow, with a new afterword which, according to a press release promoting the reissue, “truly closes the case on Watergate.”
It would seem a sure bet that one or another of our major conglomerate publishing imprints would be keen to acquire Blind Ambition, given such a promise, but the book is not being reprinted by any of them – not even Simon & Schuster, which originally published it. Instead, the book, according to Al Kamen in the Washington Post, is being “privately published” by Polimedia, the author’s PR firm. The event at the Nixon Library is described as the reissue’s “launch” at the firm’s site.
Dean’s appearance in Yorba Linda is not being greeted with universal hosannas, as Michael Isikoff of Newsweek makes clear in this article. Robert Odle, who worked in the communications office of the Nixon White House (and was later administration director of the Committee to Re-Elect The President) says in it that inviting Dean to the Library is “like having Monica Lewinsky speak at the Clinton library on the anniversary of President Clinton’s impeachment.” (As it happens, Isikoff is the journalist who broke the Lewinsky story.)
And at the Washington Times, Susan Naulty, who was the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace’s archivist from the institution’s dedication in 1990 until 2003, explains why she believes Dean’s appearance is not appropriate. She says, in part:
[T]hanks to Mr. Nixon’s voluminous archives, scholars with a better understanding of the man and his career-long struggle to advance freedom over tyranny on the one hand, and with considerably more data regarding the congressional investigations directed against him on the other, may well begin to wonder who was the real Machiavelli in Watergate – the president or his accusers. If the latter, the lessons of that crisis have enormous relevance for us today – and for freedom-loving people everywhere and at all times.
One drawback of Ms. Naulty’s article is that it does not precisely explain how Dean will come to be in Yorba Linda tomorrow. He was invited to speak by the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, which is part of the federal National Archives and Records Administration, and which now operates the museum facility in Yorba Linda and will be transferring the Nixon presidential documents to the library facility next year from Maryland. The Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation (sponsor of TNN), which was in charge of the Library when it was a private institution, not part of the NARA presidential libraries system, from 1990 until 2007, was not consulted about Dean’s appearance and, as Isikoff points out, has expressed its disapproval of the invitation.
Ms. Naulty’s article has attracted several comments at the Times’s site. A rather interesting one, from “anonymous222,” refers to Dean’s involvement in the quest for the true identity of “Deep Throat,” the Watergate informant.
In 1975, Dean suggested DT was Earl Silbert, who was the prosecutor of the Watergate defendants in the early stages of the scandal. Then, in his 1982 book Lost Honor, Dean devoted a number of pages to arguing, rather unconvincingly, that Gen. Alexander Haig was DT.
Twenty years later, Dean wrote an e-book published by Salon.com, Unmasking Deep Throat. Several articles, before the book was published, claimed that Dean would identify Washington lawyer Jonathan Rose as DT, which reportedly prompted Rose to inform Salon that he would sue for defamation in such an event. But when the book finally came off the cyberpress (or whatever one would call it), Dean instead suggested DT was a composite of more than one of Bob Woodward’s sources. (After Mark Felt “confessed” to being DT in 2005, Dean told Keith Olbermann of MSNBC he still held to the composite theory.)
And then there are the still-murky events of 2003. In that year, a group of student journalists at the University of Illinois came to the much-publicized conclusion that Fred Fielding, White House counsel for two presidents (and Dean’s deputy in the Nixon years), was DT. At the time it was reported that Dean had gone to the trouble of personally contacting some of the students to explain to them why Fielding could not be DT.
But some questions remain. As Olbermann observed in 2005, according to All The President’s Men, DT talked to Woodward about the famous 18 1/2 minute gap in the tapes before it became public knowledge. Felt, who had left the FBI, would have been unlikely to know about the gap. Fielding, who was still White House deputy counsel at the time, would have known. (Rather intriguingly, Fielding’s Wikipedia entry incorrectly states that his work in the Nixon Administration ended in 1972.)
So, were I in Yorba Linda tomorrow, one question I’d like to pose to Dean would be: Why did you try to steer the Illini journalists-to-be from the conclusion Fielding was Deep Throat? There are some other questions that come to mind, and tomorrow I hope to discuss them here.