Thank you, Time magazine, for doing the American public a tremendous service! You have demonstrated to us all how the voting process works. When the readers of Time were polled (effectively, given a chance to vote), the overwhelming majority of them chose Bernie Sanders as person of the year. Yet, Time chose to omit him from the shortlist altogether. When institutions of influence can deny reality and name a winner (like CNN naming Hilary winner of the first Democratic debate) who clearly lost, it reveals to us, the voters, just how little say we have. Why even ask us at all? Remember when Saddam Hussein was re-elected with 100% of the Iraqi vote? The difference here is only one of subtlety.
A while back, I reached the conclusion that I felt that Donald Trump would flame out as a candidate, and I still believe he will. My worry was that he would be replaced as a candidate from the GOP by someone far more clever (politically) and far more sinister than himself. We may have found him in Ted Cruz. I was listening to an interview with Mr. Cruz this morning on NPR.org’s “Morning Edition,” which I am sure you can find at the site. It was rather revealing! He is a war hawk if ever there was one, prepared to drive us into Syria (he’ll lead from the rear, thank you) on the fool’s errand of trying to eradicate ISIS, and, like Trump, wants to keep Muslim’s out of the US homeland. But, when asked very short and straight up questions, he also revealed that he has no coherent plan other than “carpet bombing” Syrian cities (“there will be some civilian casualties”) and halting the inflow of refugees, but not Muslims on tourist, work, study or fiancee visas (the San Bernardino attacker’s wife came from Pakistan on a fiancee visa). He only really wants to block refugees fleeing ISIS, not potentially radicalized Muslims from other countries. In short, he has no plan at all, other than to paint people from the Middle East with a very broad brush. I’m sure that there are elements in the Pentagon who would approve of dropping some ordinance; it has to be restocked, you know! Another election cycle and once again, the people of this nation ask a very simple question; Is this the best we have to offer?
Well, it’s November, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. But, for many of us, old enough to remember, so is the anniversary of one of the darkest days in our history. It has now been 52 years since the assassination of JFK and there is more that we don’t know about the killing than that we do.
The film linked below, from 1966, is by Mark Lane, a defense attorney from New York who had been asked by Marguerite Oswald to represent her son’s interests at the Warren Commission Hearings. As Oswald was already dead, the Commission refused to allow Lane to participate as Oswald’s counsel, thereby removing any voice on Oswald’s behalf from the proceedings.
In September, 1964, the Warren Commission released an 889 page report at the end of its investigation, which named Lee Harvey Oswald as the sole assassin in the death of JFK and promoted Arlen Spector’s “single bullet theory.” Many people read the report and found it difficult to believe. So, once again, Mark Lane was engaged, this time by the members of a “Who Killed Kennedy” committee who supplied him with the resources to look deeper into the report. In November, 1964, the Warren Commission published 26 volumes of evidence which they claimed supported the findings of the report. After reading through all of the evidence, Lane and his assistants were able to demonstrate that in many cases, the evidence was in fact, contradictory to the findings.
Out of this came Lane’s first book on the subject, “Rush To Judgement,” an essential read for anyone interested in the assassination and its aftermath. The film serves to point up a number of notable examples of eye witnesses whose testimony was either suppressed, altered or rejected by the Commission, and which would have pointed the investigation of the crime in an entirely different direction, possibly exonerating Oswald.
For my younger (than compulsory retirement!) readers, one of the real points of all this is that by December of 1963, less than a month after the assassination, the majority of Americans believed that their government, through its institutions like the FBI, was not telling us the truth about the assassination of the president. The Commission’s findings only cemented that feeling and the faith (blind, perhaps) that the average American had in his or her government has never been the same.
Bernie does not pull any punches. He names names. In this case, 18 CEO’s who were signees to a letter to the Wall Street Journal lecturing America about deficit reduction and the need to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are identified as the culprits behind the economic collapse and the recipients of trillions of dollars in bail-outs and hundreds of billions in tax refunds when they paid no corporate taxes whatsoever. And note, three of the eighteen CEO’s are the heads of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Time Warner, all three of which are to be found in the top seven contributors to Hilary Clinton’s campaign. Read this for yourself and follow the money. Then, pass your knowledge on.
From a lifelong Republican who has officially given up on his party and changed his affiliation last week, Bernie has my vote. Albert Einstein once said that problems could not be solved at the same level of awareness that they were created. In a way, that is similar to saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Regardless of our party affiliation and socio-political bent, I don’t think it is a stretch to say that we all see the need for change (unless we are among that 1/10th of the wealthiest 1%). Other than Bernie Sanders, I do not see a viable candidate from either party who represents any real hope of change to the politics as usual of Washington. I would ask of all my countrymen to do their homework, search their hearts, hold the would be candidates feet to the fire of truth, and do what you can, one vote at a time, to change the direction in which our country is headed.