My life is to make everything around me beautiful.

Friday, August 17, 2012

An Interesting Book on The White House

As I've said many times, I'm an avid reader. I mostly read and love mysteries, espionage and thrillers but I'll read just about anything.

While at Costco a few weeks ago, I came across a book titled In the President's Secret Service. I think most people like to know a little about our public leaders. For the most part, I don't usually read those kinds of books but this was a short read of about 250 pages. And it is interesting. I'm going to tell you some of the things this author talks about but not mention any names. I don't think that's something I want to do. If you want the real names of the presidents, then go buy the book or email me and I'll tell you, but not publicly. That wouldn't be very nice. And I am a very nice person. :-) (And if you email me to ask, give me an email address to respond.) I can't tell you everything in one blog post so this will continue for a while, not in succession as that might be boring but I'll throw in some tidbits about the book a couple of times a week. Oh, and all of these Presidents are the most recent from the 60s until now.

White House Secret Service agents use Belgian Malnois dogs, which are much like German Shepherds. They are the sniffers for drugs and explosives. At the WH, they stand on white concrete pads that are refrigerated so their paws don't burn or get hot in the summer. Each dog costs about $4,500. I like that they treat the dogs well. They are also rewarded, not with food, but with hard rubber balls that they love to chew apart, or in other words, mangle.

If a fence jumper is armed and jumps the WH fence they may get one warning to drop the weapon, but that's it. Then they shoot to kill. The jumper is taken out immediately so as to not create a hostage situation.

When a President travels and stays at a hotel, the SS takes up 3 floors—one for the President, the floor above and the floor below. If there are any permanent residents on any of those floors, they are offered other accommodations in the hotel on another floor (most times even better suites) at no extra charge. If any one of those permanent residents says no, then the President doesn't stay at that hotel. And these are the very best hotels in this country.

They check out everything on those 3 floors, even under the carpets on the whole floor and the picture frames in the rooms to make sure there are no cameras or microphones. They found one once and the prior occupant was a famous person who plays the piano and writes music. They wondered about that one!

One president was very disliked by just about everyone. (I think I voted for him too and later disliked him after his term for what he did. LOL This gives you absolutely no clue, however, because I doubt you can even guess which one it was.) He never, ever spoke to his SS agents. One who drove him around for 3 1/2 years never had him speak to him.

He would come down to the Oval Office early to make the public think he was working hard for the American people, but would sleep in there for a couple of hours. He gave instructions that people could not look at him when he walked through the hallways—ever. They could not even speak to him. He was just plain mean and, it sounds like, a bit psychotic.

He wouldn't allow the SS to put a trailer on his property so they could protect him. And he made the military man carrying the secret codes (That's the guy with the nuclear football and that decision could have made the difference in us getting hit with a nuclear attack!) and his own private physician stay in a motel in another town 15 minutes away. (Personally, if I had a private physician, I'd want him as close to me as possible.) The agents tried to get him to see reason but he would never relent. He hated the military and SS agents.

He would smile and carry a bag to the airport when the cameras were rolling but it was empty. He wanted the public to think he was a man of the people, but when the cameras were gone he was nasty and the smile vanished. He would often tell the secret service to carry his bags but they finally refused after a couple of times because they cannot protect him if they are his bag carriers. When they finally had enough, the one agent he asked said NO and slammed the trunk shut. He was an entirely different person than what the public knew.

He even went after a dog the SS had befriended with a bow saw because the dog had gotten into his cat's food. I think his wife stepped in here and got him to see reason. But they knew they had a looney person on their hands at that point.

Then after dinner parties at the WH food was to be thrown out but the kitchen help gave it to the SS agents as they sometimes didn't eat for 12-14 hours at a stretch. This President found out about it and made the management of the WH charge them for it—food that was going to be thrown out! He treated the WH help with contempt. He micro-managed every little detail.

At one point, he accused his staff and/or SS agents of tampering with a vial of crude oil given to him by a leader of a foreign country. It sat on his desk. One day his secretary flew into a rage (through him obviously) accusing someone of letting some of the oil out. The vial was sealed and remained sealed. Fortunately, the SS photographs everything—everything—in the WH. They got the photographs and compared it to the vial and not a drop was missing. He was that paranoid. Not another word about it and no apology. As I said, he was a nasty, mean man. His wife was very nice to the SS though.

I think that's enough for this post. I found that book enlightening. I'll be posting more tidbits from the book but just a few at a time. Perhaps at the bottom of the photos next time. They'll be there; just look for them.

Color, always color, will catch my eye for a photo, as this one did. Red and yellow.

Being that I love purple also, it's also a pleasure to come upon photos with this color.

A dream pathway to a delightful home.

When I saw this lamp the other day, it drew my breath away.

I've never seen mercury glass lamps so these were a delightful surprise.

I have to admit I love the blue in this room.

I've shown this photo before but I want those drapes for my living room.

A delightful lavender bathroom.

Simple eye candy for you.

What beautiful bed coverings!

This is a restaurant I'd love to visit. Eat out on the gravel path under the shade. Smiling :-)

A delightful table setting for a luncheon.

The pillow goes well with this wicker chair as it mimics the lines of the chair. Intriguing.

While it makes a beautiful photo shoot, in actuality, you couldn't sleep here without getting wet if it rains.

One of the simplest and most elegant settings for a table ever.