"A strong nation, like a strong person, can afford to be gentle, firm, thoughtful, and restrained. It can afford to extend a helping hand to others. It’s a weak nation, like a weak person, that must behave with bluster and boasting and rashness and other signs of insecurity." Jimmy Carter

1924-, 39th President of the United States, Winner of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize (see President Jimmy Carter's Nobel Lecture). He was born in Plains, Georgia where he grew up on his father's peanut farm. Graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., he served in the Navy for 10 years eventually becoming senior officer of a nuclear submarine, the "USS K-1". When his father died in 1953, he returned to Plains to take over the family farm. He built up the family business to greater successes than his father had. After spending some years on the farm, he chose to run for state senator. He served two terms. One day, he decided to run for Governor. His first attempt he lost. On the second attempt he won by a slim margin. He served as Governor of Georgia from 1970 to 1975. While still in the Governor's job, he began thinking of running for President. This was the time of Watergate and the entire country was very skeptical of the honesty of President Nixon. His campaign was truely a historical event. He went from unknown to President in 18 months. After a successful campaign for the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination, Carter beat Gerald Ford for the Presidency. Upon assuming office, the country was already in a recession. His first declared goal was the reduction of the unemployment rate. By focusing on the issue, he initially got the rate to go down. However high oil prices brought about by OPEC caused a high rate of inflation which torpedoed the economy.The Prime Rate went to 23%! Another significant reality of the time was the looming Cold War which marked relations between the US and the USSR. During this time, Carter signed the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II) Treaty. After working to promote Peace in the Middle East, he decided to invite both Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin to the Presidential retreat at Camp David for talks. After many stalls, he finally got a document signed, now referred to as the Camp David Accords. It was a milestone in progress as far as bridging the gulf of understanding in the region.

Then, Islamic Fundamentalism overthrew the US backed Shah of Iran. The American Embassy in Tehran was overrun resulting in the Iranian Hostage Crisis where 52 American citizens were taken hostage. To attempt to get the hostages out, they hatched Operation Eagle Claw which did not resolve the issue. They were held for 444 days and essentially consumed the last year of the Carter Presidency.

Significant achievements of his Presidency include:

Alas, overshadowing all of this was the Iran Hostage Crisis.

Cabinet members in the Carter Administration include:

After leaving office, he accomplished more than any other "former president" before or since. His post presidential achievements include:

When he came to Washington, Carter had Solar panels put on the roof of the White House. After he left Ronald Reagan had them removed.

In 1976 he was named Time Magazine Man of the Year


Source: www.jimmycarterlibrary.org Carter, Jimmy, "Why Not The Best", Bantam Books, NY, 1976 Last Updated 04.09.04

(Dug out and fleshed out from the old E1 "Jimmie Carter" node. Paragraph markings to come.)

James Earl "Jimmy" Carter. 39th US President. A Peanut farmer, and a former Navy engineer and Georgia governor.

(He hatched his presidential campaign while serving as the unknown governor of that obscure Southern state -- considering he'd been on What's My Line? and the panel had no idea who he was, even after he, as contestants did, signed his name on the blackboard when he went onstage, it was a rather Quixotic idea at the time to think he could ascend to the presidency.)

His family and his tiny hometown (Plains) gained national fame as a result of the White House bid and subsequent victory -- pluses: ex-Peace Corps volunteer and all-around senior citizen role model "Miz Lillian", and little "first daughter" Amy Carter, who later grew up to fight alongside Abbie Hoffman during her college years; minuses: Billy Carter (oy!), and Carter Country, the bad sitcom ("Handle it! Handle it!") set in a Plains-like town.

It was he, and not another obscure Southern ex-governor, who was the first jazz-fan prez, holding a jazz party outside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that included both popular old farts like Dizzy Gillespie, with whom Carter duetted on "Salt Peanuts", and ultra-obscure avant-garde legends like Cecil Taylor -- you had to pinch yourself at the very thought of that day.

Probably the most decent, moral man to occupy the White House in recent decades, though he failed to live up to some of his high ideals -- the Cold War and OPEC shenanigans made his gig harder than it should have been. Still teaches Sunday School, IIRC. He founded the Carter Center (www.cartercenter.org), an attempt to keep his good intentions alive on the world stage, monitoring elections (unfortunately, the center wasn't called upon to work in Florida in 2000), mediating international disputes, etc. And of course, Jimmy and Rosalyn are the spokespersons for Habitat for Humanity. Good people, the both of 'em.

Jimmy Carter is also one of the few living Americans to have a ship named for him. Ronald Reagan got a carrier named after him, but Jimmy (very appropriately, since he was a nuc) lent his name to SSN-23, a Seawolf class nuclear submarine.

The Jimmy Carter is under construction at the Electric Boat Company in Groton, CT (USA). She will be the third boat of her class. The thing that kills me is the rumored 'other mission' of the Carter. Most recently noted on no other than Slashdot, the Carter apparently is undergoing a multi-billion dollar retrofit before she is even launched. This is not surprising given that the Seawolf class were designed strictly as silver-bullet ASW platforms for blue water, something that's not in great demand at the moment. It is ironic as all hell, however, that this rumored 'special capability' is the capability to locate, grab, bring inside a special chamber and allow men to work on undersea fiber-optic cables.

The work in question, naturally, involves splicing taps into the cables in order to allow some nonexistent types in ---REDACTED--- to tap and monitor communication across these cables. According to some shadowy former players, these folks succeeded in tapping a cable in the mid 1990s, if not in deciphering the mass of data flowing through it.

Ironic. The man whose legacy includes such monuments to peace and freedom as the Carter Center, with its focus on democracy through free and open elections and politics, has had his name hung on an enormously expensive ($4 billion-plus, counting retrofit) example of the U.S. government's refusal to allow its citizens (and trading partners) any decent amount of privacy.

I'm not sure how I feel about the tapping itself; que sera sera. However, the naming struck me as twisted.

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