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Open Thread - 11/23/2013

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Open Thread, personal )

- 1672 days ago -
Personal news, a Jig Zone puzzle and a homemade cartoon (shown). Had to abbreviate today.

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Karen Chestney (112)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 2:19 am
Tx, TC....Sorry you had such a hard time playing with stupid people....but do have the "keys". It's Moving time !!! Good luck.

Lona G (79)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 6:08 am
Thanks for posting despite having had such a horrid day. TomCat. I'm so glad you did get your keys in the end, but it must have been such a frustrating day having to do things over again. Bureaucrats with little knowledge and a narrow outlook on life, they're the bane of society and you must have met some during the last few days, I bet. Get some rest, plug your ears and just think how nice it's going to be in a few weeks time.

Arielle S (313)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 6:12 am
Oh, the joys of paperwork and moving! But you'll soon have it your way so hang in there.
We're sending you good moving energy!

Carlene V (202)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 6:41 am
What a day Tom! You've got the keys now though so things should look up from here on out. Glad to hear you had someone helping you, I know many of us here would help if we could. Hope Guitar Man's strings break today!

Kit B (276)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 7:46 am

Kennedy thought he had ended our injection into South Vietnam. He was furious when he discovered that our soldiers were not acting as advisors but we dying from battles. He then wrote another memo to have the "advisors" removed, and that was followed by his last memo on the subject. I would need to double check myself, but I believe that was in October of 1963. It's well known that he made a comment about Vietnam, being 12,000 miles away and posing no threat to the United States. Once again I would urge everyone that has not read: James Douglass, "JFK. the Unspeakable, Why he died and Why it matters" (2007). Many issues, including Vietnam are dealt with in detail. This book does not deal with conspiracy theories or Kennedy's personal charisma. Douglass is a historian and without being dry or boring his emphasis is on the actual history of those 3 years. Where Kennedy made enemies and who they were. I remember one quote from the book.
He is a little sample of the book from Project Unspeakable:

Douglass uses the writings of his friend Trappist monk Thomas Merton as a sounding board of faith and reason throughout the story.

"One of the awful facts of our age," Merton wrote in 1965, "is the evidence that [the world] is stricken indeed, stricken to the very core of its being by the presence of the Unspeakable. Those who are so eager to be reconciled with the world at any price must take care not to be reconciled with it under this particular aspect: as the nest of the Unspeakable. This is what too few are willing to see."

The Unspeakable, Merton wrote, "is the void that contradicts everything that is spoken even before the words are said, the void that gets into the language of public and official declarations at the very moment when they are pronounced, and makes them ring dead with the hollowness of the abyss. It is the void out of which Eichmann drew the punctilious exactitude of his obedience."

Put another way, Merton's term "the Unspeakable" refers to the systemic evil and its darkness and shadow that surrounds us today. It's the structures, institutions and spirit of violence, war and evil that run rampant across the globe. If we open our eyes, we see it everywhere -- the Snowden revelations that our government is spying and tracking possibly every human being on the planet, our secret wars and extrajudicial assassinations, the drone bombings, the loss of civil liberties, the total sellout to corporations and weapons manufacturers, the ongoing preparations for nuclear war, the failure to serve the poor at home and abroad -- not to mention our destruction of the environment and active pursuit of catastrophic climate change.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the Unspeakable meant the war on communism, the active pursuit of global nuclear war, and war with Cuba, the Soviet Union and Vietnam. By punishing, silencing, and killing off the voices of truth, this Unspeakable evil pursued its warpath in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and Colombia and then the war on terrorism and the U.S. killings in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere.

Through meticulous research, Douglass argues that JFK began to understand our systemic commitment to war and nuclear weapons and decided to confront it. During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, probably the most dangerous moment in human history, we came perilously close to killing millions of people in a nuclear conflagration. But JFK, with Nikita Khrushchev, chose peace instead. Then he began to take small steps to reverse our nuclear buildup and pull our troops out of Vietnam.

Indeed, Douglass argues that because of JFKs ongoing bad health, near-death experience on PT 109, and convictions about the flawed founding of the League of Nations, JFK had always been determined to give his life for peace, to help prevent another world war. He paid for his pursuit of peace with his very life.

"The Unspeakable is not far away," Douglass writes in a quote we will cite in Friday's performance. "It is not somewhere out there, identical with a government that became foreign to us. The emptiness of the void, the vacuum of responsibility and compassion, is in ourselves. Our citizen denial provides the ground for the government's doctrine of 'plausible deniability.' "

He continues:

Kennedy's assassination is rooted in our denial of our nation's crimes in World War II that began the Cold War and the nuclear arms race. As a growing precedent to JFK's assassination by his own national security state, we U.S. citizens supported our government when it destroyed whole cities (Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki), when it protected our Cold War security by world-destructive weapons, and when it carried out the covert murders of foreign leaders with 'plausible deniability' in a way that was obvious to critical observers. By avoiding our responsibility for the escalating crimes of state done for our security, we who failed to confront the Unspeakable opened the door to JFK's assassination and its cover-up.

In his book, Douglass asks, "Why was JFK killed?" That's a question few dare to ask. If we pursue the truth, he insists we will find hope even in the darkness. "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit," Jesus says in John's Gospel (12:24).

In that spirit, Douglass writes:

What Jesus was all about, what we as human beings are all about in our deepest nature, is giving our lives for one another. By bearing that witness of martyrdom, he taught, we will come to know what humanity really is in its glory, on earth as it is in heaven. A martyr is therefore a living witness to our new humanity. Was John F. Kennedy a martyr, one who in spite of contradictions gave his life as witness to a new, more peaceful humanity? Did a president of the United States, while in command of total nuclear war, detach himself enough from its power to give his life for peace? ... Kennedy was not nave. He knew the forces he was up against. Is it even conceivable that a man with such power in his hands could have laid it down and turned toward an end to the Cold War, in the knowledge he would then be, in Merton's phrase, marked out for assassination?

"Peace need not be impractical and war need not be inevitable," JFK said at American University a few months before his assassination. He called for "a strategy of peace," not "a strategy of annihilation."

"Is not peace, in the last analysis, basically a matter of human rights -- the right to live out our lives without fear of devastation -- the right to breathe air as nature provided it -- the right of future generations to a healthy existence?"
Sorry to take up so much room on this comment section, but I think it does address the question of Kennedy, peace and Vietnam.

I am surprised that so many still linger in the realm of conspiracy. I think we see how crimes are handled today and we can see so many mistakes made back then, not the least of which was the hasty and poor investigation of Oswald. The idea was to make the people feel comfortable, it did not.

If it was a conspiracy it was one of the best as all we have are theories and speculations. No evidence, and without evidence, without proof, history will continue to record a lone assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Tom Cat you have definitely earned that new apartment. People should not have go through so much aggravation, but bureaucracy seems to always be running in reverse. I'm very glad you are feeling better, if somewhat exhausted from your day of dealing with the bureaucracy.

Kit B (276)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 8:03 am

For those who remember Fr Thomas Merton, when he was asked what he thought of JFK, this was either just after the 1960 election or soon after the inaugural of 1961. Merton replied that he thought Kennedy was a spoiled rich kid, that had enormous potential. If he filled that potential and became a man of peace, he would be assassinated. Merton was not a man that believed he nor any one had the other worldly ability to predict the future, he simply was stating what he, from his study of history believed would happen to anyone that attempted to alter the extremely profitable "cold war" status.

I shiver to think about Merton's words and the reality of what happened. Kennedy was not allowed to do more than begin to pave the roads he believed we must walk. The path of peace, an end to the nuclear threats and the undeniable moral imperative of equality of all people. He believed that United States greatest weakness was that of one human being more equal than another, and that must change.

Terrie Williams (798)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 8:49 am
Gotta just loooooooooooooooooove the MIC....NOT.

Sorry you have a horrifying day Cat Man but all in all, YOU have the KEYS! Too bad you can't leave a parting gift for Guitar Man......or maybe you can......heh heh heh, yeah, I AM that devious and trip the Dark Side when necessary.

Hope you feel better Cat Man. Rest up, you have big days ahead of you my friend!

Robert Tomlinson (62)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 10:28 am
Kit and I are in agreement. I think I have written this earlier.
U.S. News and World Report had a note in its telegram section in the Nov. 22, 1963 issue. It said that JFK was close to making a decision about bringing our troops home after the 1st of the year (1964).
One thing is for sure! The Military Industrial Complex grew by leaps and bounds after the assassination.

Yvonne White (229)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 11:11 am
I agree with Tom's cartoon & feel it was the biggest incentive for the CIA (etc.) to end his Presidency before he could order troop withdrawl. See:

"In November of 1963, Kennedy told General David Shoup, commander of the Marines and the only member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff he trusted, that the first thing he'd do following the election would be to pull all troops out of Vietnam. Shoup advised his commander-in-chief, "Unless we were prepared to use a million men in a major drive, we should pull out before the war expanded beyond control." Kennedy issued National Security Action Memo (NSAM) 263 just before his death, which secretly authorized the withdrawal of 1,000 US troops from Vietnam. As history shows, NSAM 263 would never be obeyed, and the Vietnam War would escalate into an unwinnable quagmire under the LBJ administration."

Past Member (0)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 11:31 am
Lots of R & R today, TC--------you need it. Things will get on track again.

Sending LLB --Love, Light And Blessings to you.

Pat B (356)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 11:46 am
So sorry to read of your day yesterday, sure do hope it goes smoothly from today on out. Here's hoping that you have a smooth transition from here on out. Take care, Tom.!!

Lynn S (235)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 12:37 pm
Thanks for your comment Kitty!

When we heard that JFK had been assassinated, I was in Mr Daughn's grade six class, sitting in class, wearing a blue jumper and blue and white blouse. Like most of us, I was stunned and in tears. It felt like the world was crumbling around us.

Kennedy dared to think what could be . . . peace . . . but there were too many monied and power interests that did not share his view. I believe for that reason, he was assassinated and the world deprived of a man of vision. Men like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr were also men of vision who challenged the status quo of money and power. They too were assassinated.

Peace be upon the world.


TC, I'm sorry that yesterday was such a bitch. There are enough little details to work through before a move that no unnecessary SNAFUs are needed. Take care of yourself please. Wouldn't it be nice if 'guitar man' played air guitar!?!

Mitchell D (87)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 6:59 pm
Hang in there, TC. Take good care of yourself while moving, and then get some really goooood sleep/

JL A (281)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 7:33 pm
I suspect he was the last President to refuse escalation plans or recommendations from the CIA or military and/or to speak of peace in this way...

David C (129)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 7:44 pm
sounds like a tough day, Tom, glad thats over for long life and prosperity in your new digs.........yes, sir, a different world if Mr. Kennedy had lived.

Deb E (63)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 8:05 pm
I will never forget my 11th birthday. The way we saw our world really did change the day Kennedy was murdered. It was devastating.

Not much longer, TC, and you can leave the guitars behind. Rest up!


Edith B (146)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 9:51 pm
So glad you got the keys. guitar man will soon be history. Tried to send Kit a star for her comments, but had sent one today all ready. Looking for that book!

Katie & Bill D (107)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 10:39 pm
i have flagged this Crappo spam everyone should get rid of it!!

Thank You TomCat

Shirley S (187)
Saturday November 23, 2013, 10:40 pm
Please accept my sympathy for your horrible day. But all's right now eh?

Glenn B (197)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 12:17 am

Shelly Peterson (213)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 1:02 am
Love the JFK pics! is now in the library, thankyou so much!..I was in 2nd grade and Mrs. Renaldo, instructed the class that we were all to do 1 hour of "free art" , at our desks, "do not move from your desk!"., after the public school announcement that all teachers were to report immediately to the teacher's lounge....we were scared,..Kevin Harrison's brother (baby) had died the day before...everyone was asking, "who died!?! Kevin okay!?!"..I was in 2nd grade...teacher's in the hall, crying...we are little kids and scared!; many started crying, wanting to go home, ("want my mommy/daddy now"!)...Mrs. Renaldo was awesome, with the way she handled 30 2nd graders, us!..She assured us that Kevin was just fine and instructed everyone that they had 1 hour to do some great artwork and that we would be graded on it...she started the stop watch!!..(she did not play, and WE knew it!!!)...and so we, 6 & 7 year olds, quietly (or your butt would be nailed!)) said, "YEAH!!!!!!"....paint, clay, color crayons,charcoal, chalk, pencil, what ever and we all had projects going on that we could only work on for 1/2 hour per this was almost better than eating 500 cookies!!!..and we loved and respected our teacher, so we just all went to work on our own projects as she was out of the class...and being notified that our President had been killed, had to deal with her own emotions and HOW DO YOU TELL A CLASS OF 2ND GRADERS, THE DAY AFTER THEIR CLASSMATE'S BABY BROTHER HAD JUST BEEN KILLED, IN SUBURBIA, early 1960's, THAT THE REASON THEIR PARENTS ARE SHOWING UP, AND EVERYONE IS CRYING, IS BECAUSE our PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, was just killed!.......the day, the innocence died,(in our minds , at the time...after all grams withstood the holocaust,....grams let out of the interment camps and WE, my parents and their contemporaries found a way to live and move on!!..before the hippie, burn the bra, drugs, and the STRENGTH TO STAND UP FOR TRUTH AND JUSTICE was REBORN..AGAIN......2013!!!climate change=time for the same thing again!..AND AGAIN..AND AGAIN!!!

Jonathan Harper (0)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 8:06 am
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