Posts Tagged ‘JFK’

“It’s a cook book!” JFK, Castro, and Obama

August 9, 2013

Living a week under the condition red alert was a flashback to the good old days when lefty pundits could criticize George W. Bush for his policies rather than having to exert some effort to defend President Obama for doing what Dubya did while he was in the White House.  At least the week long condition red alert took the focus off the NSA’s (alleged) unnecessary monitoring of various means of communication.

 

If Obama is busy doing the same thing George W. Bush did, how can the people who criticized Bush defend Obama?  Likewise, how can the Republicans who defended Dubya attack Obama?  Isn’t there a kind of demon who suddenly becomes the exact opposite of what it was perceived to be? 

 

Do the pundits who criticized the Bush plan to do some electronic snooping in the name of Homeland Security have any grounds for praising Obama for doing the same thing?  Do the Republican propagandists have any logical way to denounce Obama for using the old Bush era “Red Alert” ruse to defuse the topic as a subject for a debate?

 

Journalism is (theoretically) supposed to fact check the politicians so that the citizens can make a well informed decision at the voting polls.  Unfortunately, it is up to consumers of news media to do their own fact checking and now both parties seem to be willing accessories after the fact for the murder of quality journalism in the country that spawned Murrow’s Boys.

 

Doesn’t it make sense that a party of greedy capitalists, who endorsed the con man attitude of caveat emptor, would encourage journalism to morph from an obsession with truth into an endless source of doubletalk that bamboozles the rubes?  We wonder what the Democrats’ explanation could possibly be.

 

If a pundit with access to the Timer Travel Machine were to travel back to 2006 and announce that in 2013 a Democratic President would be wrestling with the tantalizing possibility of adding Syria to the list of American quagmires, such a hypothetical columnist would be hauled off and forced to endure a cooling off period of psychiatric evaluation. 

 

On Thursday, August 08, 2013, Uncle Rushbo was kvetching about the fact that Obama’s first nationally televised comments about the new Terrorists’ Threat came on the Tonight Show.

 

Uncle Rushbo can’t bitch about Obama doing what Dubya used to do because that might prove to be inconvenient in 2016 when JEB is running as the Republican Party nominee for President, so he has to use attacks on the personal level to criticize the President.  Hence he was saying the appearance on the Tonight Show diminished the Presidency. 

 

Rush specifically mentioned that John F. Kennedy did not go on the Tonight Show, back when Jack Paar was the host, to tell the nation about his assessment of the Cuban Missile Crises.  Limbaugh either chose to forget or didn’t know that Fidel Castro did go on the Tonight Show, after deposing Fugencio Batista, to make overtures to Washington.  Facts are just pesky details for “America’s Anchorman.” 

 

Rush questioned Jay Lenno’s credentials for being a Journalist rather than a stand up comic.  Limbaugh said “I’m not being critical of Leno at all.  And I was not at all surprised that Leno would ask better questions than the White House press corps does.”

Quoting something that Chris Cillizza, wrote in the Washington Post, Limbaugh continued:  “As we have written before in this space, the idea that a serious journalist can’t have fun is not one that’s broadly held by the people who, you know, consume our journalism. Leno’s interview with Obama proves that the opposite is also true; that a ‘fun’ person can also be serious.”

[Could the World’s Laziest Journalist humbly suggest that when journalism takes a break from being oh-so-serious, it should be dubbed “Leprechaun Jorunalism”? ]

 

When it seemed like Limbaugh was going to address the issue of what makes a good journalist, he veered away from that interesting topic.  (We could do an entire column on that topic.)

Bringing the focus of the rant back to himself Uncle Rushbo continued:  “ . . . I do something that you don’t find elsewhere in the media.  I combine the serious discussion of issues with irreverent satirical comedy, with credibility on both sides.”  Isn’t the both sides contention often contradicted when Uncle Rushbo abruptly cuts off a liberal caller?

Was Uncle Rushbo intimating that Journalism should be one sided rants that can (as Fox has established in court) tell lies with a cogent punch line thrown in to prove that Conservatives have a sense of humor?  Fox tried to establish a Jon Stewart type of late night comedy punditry amalgamation of entertainment but failed to achieve acceptable ratings.  (John Douglas, a pioneer FBI profiler, has said that a frequent hallmark for serial killers is a strange sense of humor that many folks “don’t get.”)  Would Uncle Rushbo maintain that he is a better journalist than Hunter S. Thompson was?

 

We wonder what percentage of the audience for Uncle Rushbo, Hanity, and O’Reilly go to the bother of doing any fact checking about what they have heard.  How many ditto heads have read the book “Out Foxed,” let alone make the effort to see the movie of the same name?

 

In 2006, to the best of our ability to discern, no American journalist had bothered to fact check what had been said at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial nor had any of the modern day versions of Murrow’s Boys bothered to ask a participant of the WWII War Crimes Trails if they saw any evidence to indicate that George W. Bush may have (inadvertently) been seen in a harsh light if the standards of conduct applied retroactively to the Germans were used to evaluate the legality of Bush’s war policies.

 

The challenge facing Republican strategy policy makers in 2006 was to find a way to get the Democrats to slowly accept and implement the Bush program without it seeming to be a sell-out of the Trojan horse school of clever political maneuvers.

 

Obviously any pundit who pointed out existence of such a deception would be denounced as a raving lunatic from the most recent graduating class in the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory training class for new employees. 

 

According to Uncle Rushbo, President Obama, who was highly visible in the “hands on” mode of being the Commander-in-Chief when Osama bin Laden was being snuffed, went into stealth mode of operation on the night that the raid on the Americans in Benghazi was happening.  Are the conservatives hinting that this could be Monica 2.0?  Are the liberal pundits faking a lack of comprehension?  “What, me worry?” 

 

Attack the man, because the liberals can’t attack Obama for continuing the Bush agenda.  If they did, that might be inconvenient when JEB get the nomination in 2016.

 

Are Americans supposed to believe a short radio segment riddled with unfacts and bumper sticker slogans rather than assiduously working their way through a complex and scholarly rebuttal?  If that’s an accurate assessment how long will it be before they start thinking that they are oh-so-clever when they ask the question:  “Sock it to me?”?

 

Uncle Rushbo gets very upset when lefty pundits use personal attacks on him, yet he has no qualms about attacking the President and charging him with demeaning the Presidency by talking to Jay Lenno. 

 

When Uncle Rushbo is attacked personally, he usually responds with a counterattack that brings the lefty a fulfillment of Andy Warhol’s promise.  Should an obscure online pundit who wrote about a chance encounter with a War Crimes Trials expert and an earlier analysis of the American lead prosecutor’s opening statement at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial launch a vitriolic personal attack against Uncle Rushbo in the hopes of getting a tsunami of negative publicity for his efforts?

 

As the summer of 2013 peaks, attempts to provide rational discourse for political issues is about as difficult an assignment as it would be to get a rabid Dodgers fan to go see the Giants host a three game home series with their archrival and convincing this fellow to “root for the home team.”

 

It ain’t gonna happen.

                                                                                                         

That, in turn, may explain why Jay Lenno and John Stewart are becoming more important to politicians than interviews on the network news programs.

 

When a hallmark Bush gambit becomes part of Obama’s repetoir of ploys, some pundits may realize that the situation is similar to that moment when the home team’s fans head for the parking lot in the 7th inning.  At that point some mildly amusing (forget about perceptive and cogent) punditry has been put out of read.

 

[Note from the photo editor:  A file shot of a man using an 8 X 10 camera seemed to illustrate our topic of looking for the Zeitgeist for this week.  Quality Journalism has become a thing of the past, as have view cameras.  Both are missed by aficionados.]

 

Ned Kelly said it best:  “Such is life.”

 

Now the disk jockey will play the Speedies song  “Let me take your Photo,” the Who’s “Pictures of Lily,” and Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome.”  We have to go see if we can buy a West Coast Eagles t-shirt.  Have a “your mother wears combat boots” type week.

Was JFK killed by a jealous husband?

February 28, 2010

[Note:  <B>Conspiracy theories, like astrological forecasts, should be read only for their entertainment value.  They belong in the file labeled:  “fictionalized speculation.”</B>]

When the <a href =http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.persiancarpetguide.com/sw-asia/People/images/Bio979b.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.persiancarpetguide.com/sw-asia/People/Bio979.htm&usg=__Oo69s5ul60HR42Farel-aYxK0Ks=&h=460&w=350&sz=12&hl=en&start=5&itbs=1&tbnid=Ik_OtbFcZmg6zM:&tbnh=128&tbnw=97&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dayatollah%2Bkhomeini%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DX%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D20%26tbs%3Disch:1> Ayatollah Khomeini</a> shot to the top of the current events chart for his shenanigans in Iran, it seemed to this columnist, like we had seen him before.  One day while plowing through our massive collection of totally irrelevant cultural events file, we stumbled upon a photo of   <a href =http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.notablebiographies.com/images/uewb_05_img0359.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.notablebiographies.com/Ho-Jo/Hughes-Howard.html&usg=__BBjkrBJen7eP89Bg3P5ns1a-f2A=&h=279&w=228&sz=9&hl=en&start=39&itbs=1&tbnid=iLpRV3HA5ndPWM:&tbnh=114&tbnw=93&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dhoward%2Bhughes%26start%3D20%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D20%26tbs%3Disch:1>Howard Hughes</a>.

Voila!  It wasn’t just one of those identical twins separated at birth things; it was a “same guy, different photos at different ages” type deal (IMHO).  Just compare a photo of the Ayatollah and one of Hughes.  Note the similarity of the folds in the ears, the nostrils, and the eyes. Eliminatory, my dear Watson, it’s obviously the same guy in different stages in his life.

We asked around.  No one had ever seen Howie (we used to live in Marina del Rey, which has Hughes Aircraft as an adjacent neighbor) and the Ayatollah in the same room at the same time. 

“Lois, have you ever noticed how Clark Kent always misses being able to write an eyewitness account of Superman’s greatest feats?”  Nudge, nudge.  Wink, wink.  If you know what we mean.

We tried our best to pedal our theory to the mavens of contemporary American culture but alas we garnered as much attention as a voice crying in the wilderness would.

If a conspiracy theory (CT) is to flourish, it has to be theoretically possible.  You can’t go for stories about the captain of the Titanic being found 60 years later with his pipe still lit.  You have to cook up something that just might squeak by on a level of marginal feasibility.

We went back to the drawing board.

James Dean and Elvis were rumored to be still alive long after their deaths had been reported in the news media.  So we asked our self:  How much documentation was there for the death of Che Guevara? 

What if he had promised to turn states evidence and rat out his amigos in the Cuban Revolution in return for amnesty?  Could he have been taken in to the “Witness Protection Program” and given some phony ID and a few bucks to start life over after allegedly being “shot down in an attempt to flee”? 

We came up with a mental image of Che being on a city council in a small University somewhere in California and fighting with the college kids.  (Gosh now that we live in such a city, maybe one of these Tueday nights, we should skip Qi Gong class and attend a city council meeting?)

We ran this bit of unsubstantiated speculation past a high school buddy, several years ago, and he did his best to refute our theory.  He reassured us that he personally had seen a photo on the desk of the guy who worked next to his that showed Che dead on the ground.  Our good buddy mumbled some esoteric exotica about JM/Wave, Ted Shackley, Phat City, and the like as his evidence to substantiate his claim that Che was buried in Bolivia. 

We countered that this guy, whom he called Felix Rodriguez, was most likely in on the ruse and had agreed to pose with Che’s prone figure for the photographic proof that the revolutionary had been mortally wounded while attempting to flee.  (Didja know that in the days of B&W movies Hershey’s chocolate syrup was often used to simulate blood?)  In return, we asserted, Che spilled the beans about such things as the kidnapping of Juan Manuel Fangio and other historic Cuban events which preceded Fidel’s putsch. 

Now that photoshopping changes are readily available to any photographer with the bucks to buy the program and a lap top where he can run it, photographs are (to the best of our knowledge) no longer accepted as evidence in any court proceedings.

We used to work with an ad sales rep who, we adamantly asserted, used an assumed identity that had been provided by the witness protection program folks.  They had assisted her in the efforts to erase all traces of her life as “Eva Braun.”  She did a Dr. Strangelove-like denial of the idea.

Our efforts to dabble in a one man plot to concoct something that would be described as a cutting edge conspiracy theory that belongs in the Conspiracy Theory Hall of Fame pale in comparison to what we have recently found on online.  We were Googling around with things like “Blond Ghost” and “Dealey Plaza” when we stumbled on the most outrageous conspiracy theory we’ve ever encountered in a lifelong fascination with conspiracy theories for fun and profit.

If we couch the views in the form of a question that means that this columnist doesn’t personally substantiate their wild assertions.  We just want to bring some new theories to the attention of the people who are connoisseurs of concocted conjecture.

Cub reporters are always urged, for legal reasons, to pepper their stories with words like “allegedly,” “reportedly,” “assert,” and to inundate the readers with phrases like “according to a police spokesman,” and “unsubstantiated conjecture.” 

So we were sure that we found the next candidate for the Conspiracy Theory Hall of Fame when we found folks asking:  “Was George W. Bush’s real father JFK?”  They follow that up by asking “Did George H. W. Bush, play the role of jealous husband, and hire killers to rub him out in Dallas?”

Their wild assertions do seem to tie up loose ends and nagging question concerning JFK’s assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963, in an Occam’s razor sort of way.

Folks (not just the good ole boys in Texas) can readily comprehend the “jealous husband” rational for using a gun. 

According to this new way of explaining the Dallas Assassination, the common connecting thread is the CIA.  Here are some links for readers who want to do their own play-along-at-home sleuthing and fact checking about this wild bit of speculation.  (Embedded links seem so Tyler Durdin-ish.)

http://www.aviationbanter.com/showthread.php?t=4080

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://bottleofbits.info/econ/faces/Lf-Ts.jpg&imgrefurl=http://bottleofbits.info/econ/faces/familiar_faces.htm&usg=__ZsOYgQppbwST7wF9SI28FdzQSPQ=&h=64&w=243&sz=9&hl=en&start=19&itbs=1&tbnid=gF8fVyuzydd8bM:&tbnh=29&tbnw=110&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dblond%2Bghost%2Bdealy%2Bplaza%26hl%3Den%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D20%26tbs%3Disch:1

http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/custom/JFKsealgoss.jpg

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.rumormillnews.com/pix5/bush_kennedy_assassination_dallas_11.22.63.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi%3Fnoframes%3Bread%3D161548&usg=__uQ0GAzNWQj3DAUbA6WOQ6_uQ6i0=&h=510&w=372&sz=42&hl=en&start=15&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=jB5qGponYyUeBM:&tbnh=131&tbnw=96&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ddealey%2Bplaza%2Bbarbara%2Bpierce%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26tbs%3Disch:1

If a columnist writes about a new dance craze sweeping the discos, that doesn’t mean he has to be the fellow who “invented” the dance.  It doesn’t mean that he has to be able to do the dance.  It just means that, as a reporter and critic of the contemporary culture, he wants to point out what the latest development in that sphere of culture is.  For those who are fascinated by conspiracy theories, this columnist just wants to bring their wild, intriguing question to the attention conspiracy theory fans.  When it comes to drawing conclusions; you are on your own.

Herb Caen, who has his own room in the (imaginary) Columnists’ Hall of Fame, defended his columnistic style thus (From “Don’t Call it Frisco” Doubleday hardback pages 25 – 26):  “That brings us to the third type – the “scattershot” column, crammed with short items on a variety of subjects.  This kind of column is, obviously, a lot more work, but it attracts a wider audience, at least theoretically.  As that great practitioner of the art, Walter Winchell, once expressed it:  ‘People don’t get bored if you change the subject often enough.’” 

Now, our disk jockey will play:  Jimmy Dean’s song “Big, Bad John,” Dion’s song “Abraham, Martin, and John,” and Tom Clay’s overdubbed version of “What the World Needs Now.”  (It is on Youtube and guaranteed to make surviving hippies weep.)  Now, we gotta skedaddle.  Have a “you’re not gonna believe this . . .” type of week.

Jack, Bobby, and Teddy

August 27, 2009

In Scranton Pa., Irishcatholicdemocrat is one word and when it was learned that Jack Kennedy, who was running for President, was coming to town, the excitement level started to rise. By the time he rolled into Scranton it was at fever pitch level.

The candidate was coming to speak at the Hotel Casey, which was across the street from Perino’s Restaurant, and since I knew the owners’ son, Russ, I got permission to be on the roof overlooking the candidate’s arrival.

Some 8mm movies in B&W of the event exist, but finding them, they are packed securely away in a storage unit, would be a major task.

In 1968, while we were in California, we got a picture of Bobby Kennedy campaigning to get the Democrats’ Presidential nomination. We use our most valued possession, a Nikon F, to get some still shots (also in B&W) of him in a motorcade in a>downtown Los Angeles.

Somewhere along the way we attended a political rally in San Francisco. Bobby Kennedy was supposed to attend it. His brother Teddy was there. Again we used the beloved Nikon to get some photos. Teddy was introduced to the locals. We jumped in line and when the guy went to introduce me, he balked. I said my name and shook hands with the Senator from Massachusetts and then yielded my to the next person in line.

At the end of this historic week, most of the posts in Punditstan will be about either CIA torture or Teddy Kennedy. In journalism, August is called the dog days because news is – or used to be – rather slow in the summer of a non-elecitons year, so it seemed like a chance to dash off a column recalling the times we saw all three of the Kennedy senators, was a gimme chance not to be missed.

You want this column to include some political gossip that you can’t get anywhere else?

OK we’ll give you the only hot inside rumor we have from the conservative world: according to what we hear, the conservatives are pushing the search for Obama’s birth certificate because there is supposed (told ya it’s just gossip) to be an application for a foreign student loan for the young Barry Obama that swears to his eligibility for the money.

If he produces a birth certificate from Hawaii and they then locate the alleged document from the President’s college student days, well then, they have him swearing to a falsehood and don’t the conservatives consider that solid grounds for an impeachment proceeding?

Yikes, did we just provide a spoiler for a Bill O’Reilly “scoop”?

That’s the best we can do for this column. It’s time to start wrapping this up. It’s hot in Los Angeles. The Venice Beach is about four blocks away. You do the math.

The closing quote for this week comes from the Los Angeles Times website. While newly inaugurated Senator Ted Kennedy was talking about his relationship with his brother the President, he dabbled in some self-deprecating humor: “I was down at the White House this afternoon with some suggestions for the State of the Union address, but all I got from him was, ‘Are you still using that greasy kid stuff on your hair?’”

Warning: for this week’s song, the disk jockey is going to play the version of Jackie DeShannon’s song “What the world needs now . . . to which disk jockey Tom Clay added some news sound bytes. We gotta warn the liberals, if you’ve never heard this version before, it is going to make you cry. We dare the conservatives to listen to it. We gotta go wipe a speck of dust from our eyes. Have a “let’s drink to his memory” (even if it’s just diet soda) type weekend.