Monday, November 24, 2003
SEE YA NEXT WEEK
I am blowing out of this one-horse blog, and spending the holiday in Charlotte, North Carolina. Have a great Thanksgiving.
WHAT A LONG, STRANGE TRIP IT'S BEEN
Now, I'll be the first to admit that, occasionally, certain topics get inside my head to the point where rational thought becomes non-existent. Take the 1986 American League Playoffs, for example. You really don't want to get me started on how Rob Wilfong cost the California Angels a trip to the World Series. (No, no, I'm not that bitter.)
Another subject that has the tendency to overwhelm me is the Kennedy assassination. Now, my head tells me that Oswald didn't act alone, but how far out the conspiracy goes, I don't know. However, every now and again I lose perspective, and I need an objective eye to reel me back in.
Like this past weekend. With the anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy all over the news, an e-mailer and I got into a lengthy discussion concerning Clay Shaw. After hours and hours of research and e-mails, I started to venture off the beaten path. Luckily, I called my dad, who has the ability to keep me grounded:
ME: Dad, was Clay Shaw a CIA employee?
DAD: Who is this?
ME: Come on, I'm serious. Clay Shaw. Agency or not?
DAD: Uncle Leo?
ME: Cut the Seinfeld gag and help me out here. I think I'm on to something. Now, Richard Helms testified in 1979 that Shaw was a 'part-time contact of the Domestic Contact Division.'
ME: Well, if Shaw was with The Company, as I'm starting to suspect, then it's not too far a stretch to think that the Agency would try to damage Jim Garrison's reputation and his prosecution of Shaw, right? Now, considering the testimony of Vernon Bundy, and I know, I know he was a big-time heroin user, but...
DAD: Keith, why do you do this to yourself? Remember last time, when you were absolutely sure that Jack Lord killed President Kennedy?
ME: I still don't like Lord's alibi. And Hawaii 5-0 was on TV for 12 years! Come on, you've seen the show. Keeping it on the air was pure Black Ops.
DAD: Yeah, that is kind of suspicious. But, he wasn't even in Texas that day. And don't you remember how much trouble you caused with his daughter?
ME: He SAID he wasn't in Texas, but he also claimed NOT to have a dinner receipt from a restaurant in Los Angeles for the evening of the assassination. A likely story. And his daughter didn't have to be so mean about things.
DAD: You accused her father of murder and asked to exhume his body!
ME: Oh, big deal. If she really wanted to get to the bottom of this thing she wouldn't have called the cops. Now I can't even step foot in Hawaii until 2018.
DAD: That's my point. You only have 46 states left that you can legally enter, so why risk being banned from anymore?
ME: Hey, smart guy, Colorado is under appeal! Now listen, I have gotten word from a guy in Oklahoma who claims to have a picture of Clay Shaw meeting with Harold Doyle, who, as you know, was arrested in Dealey Plaza, and was in the same room of the Dallas police station with Oswald the afternoon of the 22nd! Don't you see what that means?
ME: This picture, if validated, will be the first concrete piece of evidence that proves that President Kennedy was assassinated by the Canadians!
DAD: Son, I've got to go.
ME: No, think about it. Lester Bowles Pearson was a bloodthirsty savage, we all know that. Oh sure, he was the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in 1957, but in '63 he wasn't the top dog anymore. Kennedy was the media darling and was scoring all the chicks. Pearson is so desperate for attention that he signs Privacy Council Office Directive number 1910 allowing Canadian agents to...
DAD: Keith, promise me you aren't going to try and exhume Prime Minister Pearson's body.
ME: Of course not. I called up there and sniffed around and, well, now I'm not allowed in Canada either.
ME: That's where you come in. I bought you a bus ticket to Ottawa, and a guy named Aiden is waiting for your call. He has the bulldozer...
DAD: Keith, I'm not going to Canada to dig up the body of a former Prime Minister.
ME: Why can't you support me? I'm about to crack this thing wide open.
DAD: Yeah, I'm sure Earl Warren is looking down and saying 'Damn, the jig is up. Keith's on to us.'
ME: Yeah, you can laugh now. But they laughed at Wally Murton at first, too.
DAD: Who's Wally Murton?
ME: He's the guy who originated the theory that the Mafia and the Trapshooting industry combined to assassinate President Kennedy.
DAD: And they laughed at him? Unimaginable.
ME: I know! He was ahead of his time. The Trapshooting lobby had some tough characters back then.
DAD: Keith, I've got to be getting back to planet earth now.
ME: You know, now that I think about it, didn't Jack Lord have an honorary membership in the National Trapshooting Fraternity?
DAD: Hey, Keith, what do you think Rob Wilfong is doing these days?
ME: Oh, don't get me started on Wilfong. Did I ever tell you how he cost the Angels a trip to the World Series?
Thankfully, the mere mention of Rob Wilfong pulled my head back out of the conspiratorial clouds. Until the next time...
ONE AND DONE?
In presidential primaries, each candidate has certain states that they absolutely cannot lose. These usually include, but are not limited to, the candidate's home state. These states are like the NFL playoffs. Lose one, and your done.
This brings up some rather troubling news for two candidates.
First, it can be argued that, maybe, New Hampshire is not one of the aforementioned 'must win' states for Senator John Kerry. But Massachusetts sure is. This Boston Herald poll showing Sen. Kerry losing his home state to Governor Howard Dean by 9 points must be sending shockwaves throughout the Kerry campaign.
Representative Dick Gephardt isn't from Iowa, but he absolutely cannot lose his neighboring state. The only hope for Rep. Gephardt to win the Democratic nomination is to win Iowa, hope for huge money to come rolling in, parlay that into a surprising second place finish in New Hampshire, narrow the field to himself and Gov. Dean, and then become the darling of the ABD (Anybody But Dean) crowd. But it all starts with Iowa, and this poll showing Governor Dean with a 5 point lead must concern the Gephardt campaign.
Sunday, November 23, 2003
ONE TOKE OVER THE LINE?
Quiddity, over at uggabugga (which is my favorite name for a weblog, although I can't reasonably explain why), attempts to link the assassination of President Kennedy and the attacks of 9-11 as a way of backhanding President Bush, and the result is just disastrous.
uggabugga thinks that L. H. Oswald was, indeed, the lone gunman who killed President Kennedy 40 years and one day ago. They post a Mark Shields quote that fairly represents their views:
... the idea that this small troubled tormented man could do something so large and change history by doing it is just somehow, offends people's sense of rationality. I think they're looking for something deeper, something to explain the magnitude of the enormity of what this little man did.
Then, they ask the people who agree with that thinking to consider a similar premise based on the 9-11 attacks:
The idea that a small group of fanatics could do something so large and change history by doing it is just somehow, offends people's sense of rationality. I think war-hawks are looking for something deeper, something to explain the magnitude of the enormity of what this group did.
They follow up with the slap at President Bush in the final passage:
Basically, we take the view that all evidence to date indicates that al Qaeda is a menace, but nothing on the scale of a state power. But people want to believe that there is something big (and in Bush's case "evil") out there, and so start swinging at figures like Saddam, who fit their own conspiracy theories.
To do the math, uggabugga analogizes al Qaeda to Lee Harvey Oswald, and also equates President Bush to the people who believe that Lee Harvey Oswald did NOT act alone.
The only tiny, little problem is that the two pairs have almost nothing comparable at all.
Oswald may, or may not have, killed President Kennedy, all by his ownsome. I don't know, and neither do you, or even uggabugga. However, al Qaeda did attack us on 9-11. I know that because they told us so.
President Bush, under uggabugga's bizarre thinking, see's a conspiracy between Iraq and al Qaeda in the 9-11 attacks, although there is little evidence to support a link, and that's the same as Kennedy conspiracy theorists, who, on the other hand, only see that at least one (1) other person helped further the plot to assassinate President Kennedy.
Hey, I like taking shots at President Bush too, and on his decision to invade Iraq he deserves it, but don't force it just to commemorate an anniversary.
PROFILE IN COWARDICE
With the Medicare bill heading to the Senate, I really do wonder what in God's name is going on in Senator Tom Daschle's head. He has been repeatedly quoted as saying he is against the bill, but will not vote to support a filibuster which would prevent the bill from coming to a vote. Today, on Meet The Press, Senator Daschle said that he would not support a filibuster because "...we don't have the votes right now for cloture on a filibuster." (Memo to Sen. Daschle: I know where you can get one vote.)
The problem is that Senator Daschle, as usually is the case, is attempting to play both sides. If he's against the bill, as he says he is, then he should support a filibuster, as well as any other "parliamentary options" available. If he's for the bill, he should support it.
By the way, if the Democrats don't have the votes to sustain a filibuster, who's fault is that? Maybe it's me, but I would tend to think that if the minority wants to halt legislation, then perhaps the MINORITY LEADER should start making some deals to get the votes. (Memo to Sen. Daschle: If Rep. Hastsert can bribe Republicans to get a bill through the house, you can hand out some candy to Democrats to sustain a filibuster.)
THAT'S A SHAME
Today we get the sad, and untimely, news that character actress Kellie Waymire has died. Waymire, a native of my former hometown, Columbus, Ohio, died November 13th at her home in Los Angeles of what the New York Post is calling a 'mystery illness'.
Waymire, who to me resembled Rene Zellweger, is one of those people who you don't know by name, but once you see her picture, you say 'Oh, that's right, I know her.' I remember her from her guest spot on Seinfeld. In the episode called 'The Blood', Waymire played Elaine's friend Vivian, who was looking for a babysitter for her snotty little kid.
Waymire was 36. My sympathies go out to her family and loved ones.