Tag Archives: JFK murder

Let’s end the argument: RFK’s killer is behind bars

My heart is still broken over the murder of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy 50 years ago today.

Accordingly, I continue to hold members of his family in my heart as they continue to grieve over his death while running for the presidency of the United States.

But … I want to end this discussion that Sirhan Sirhan did not act alone in the Los Angeles hotel kitchen that night. I want to end the myth that there was another shooter in the room.

As you might already know from the blog, I am not a conspiracy theorist. I have dismissed the notion that someone other than Lee Harvey Oswald murdered Bobby Kennedy’s brother, the president, in Dallas on the bright, sunny November day in 1963.

None other than Robert Kennedy Jr., the third-eldest of Bobby and Ethel’s 11 children, believes Sirhan did not kill his father. I do not intend here to disrespect RFK Jr.’s belief in a second gunman, or that someone else fired those shots.

I wasn’t there when Bobby was mortally wounded; however, neither was his son.

I do know that Sirhan yelled, “Kennedy, you son of a bi***!” before firing a revolver into the back of the senator’s head. Sirhan, an immigrant from Jordan, hated Kennedy’s strong pro-Israel stance as attorney general and then as a U.S. senator. I also know that members of Kennedy’s entourage grappled immediately with Sirhan after he fired the shots. They wrenched the pistol from his hand; the bullets were spent.

Sirhan was effectively caught in the act of changing the course of U.S. political history.

He fired the shots that killed Robert Kennedy. He was sentenced initially to death; but then the Supreme Court struck down capital punishment, meaning that Sirhan would serve a life sentence in a California prison.

He did the crime. He will die behind bars. I continue to mourn the victim of his heinous act of violence.

Please, let us stop promulgating the myth that Sirhan didn’t do it.

Trump stokes the demagoguery machine at CPAC

Donald J. “Demagogue in Chief” Trump has fired ’em up at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

He has bellowed that if Democrats take control of Congress this year they are going to “take away your Second Amendment” rights to “keep and bear arms.”

Guns are on the top of people’s minds these days. A shooter went berserk in Parkland, Fla., killing 14 students and three educators in a killing spree that has thrown the nation into grief yet again.

So what does the president do? He goes to CPAC and sows terror in the hearts of the faithful. Democrats are going after the Second Amendment, he said.

I do not think that’s going to happen. History is an important guide here. Think about this for just a moment.

Democrats controlled the White House and Congress in 1964, a year after President Kennedy was murdered with a high-powered rifle in Dallas. Did they yank the Second Amendment away then? No.

Nor did they do so after President Reagan was shot and seriously wounded in 1981.

Democrats controlled Congress and the White House in 2009 and 2010. Congressional Democrats failed to reinstate the assault weapons ban.

Thus, Donald Trump is blowing it out his backside when he implies a repeal of the Second Amendment if Democrats take control of Congress. However, he had an audience that gave him lusty cheers when he tossed out that fiery rhetoric.

Are there ways to legislate some solutions to gun violence without taking away the Second Amendment? Yes. It just requires a concerted search for common ground to solve a quintessentially American crisis.

Demagoguery doesn’t cut it.

Evangelical infatuation with Trump still confuses

Someone has to explain something to me in simple language.

My question goes like this: How does Donald J. Trump continue to hold tightly onto support from the evangelical Christian community?

I ask because of a blog posted by R.G. Ratcliffe in Texas Monthly. Ratcliffe writes about a potential Republican challenger for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz next year from an evangelical TV network executive who is angry that Cruz didn’t endorse Trump at the 2016 Republican presidential nominating convention.

The challenge might come from Bruce K. Jacobson Jr., vice president for LIFE Outreach International and an aide to James Robison, a noted televangelist.

I do not get this! Honest! It confuses me in the extreme!

Christians line up behind Trump

The president of the United States would seem to be totally anathema to the evangelical movement, given the president’s past. He has bragged about his marital infidelity; he has admitted to groping women; he never has been associated with faith-based causes or associated openly with religious organizations.

Sen. Cruz has been much friendlier to evangelical causes than Trump ever had been prior to his becoming president. Jacobson, though, holds Cruz’s non-endorsement at the RNC in 2016 against him.

As Ratcliffe writes: Cruz had signed a pledge to support the party’s nominee, Jacobson said, but then didn’t follow through at the convention. “I’m concerned about anybody who doesn’t keep their word. I’ve very concerned about that. In Texas, when we give our word, it’s our word,” Jacobson said.

If memory serves, Cruz made that pledge early in the GOP presidential primary campaign, only to be humiliated personally by Trump’s insults and lies. Trump disparaged Cruz’s wife with a cruel tweet and then suggested the senator’s father was linked somehow to the assassination of President Kennedy. Cruz called Trump an “amoral” liar, which I also happen to believe he is.

Did the eventual Republican nominee conduct himself as a “good Christian” with that kind of behavior?

I don’t know about you, but I am not at all surprised — nor displeased — that Ted Cruz chose not to “endorse” Trump at the 2016 Republican convention.

So here we are. Cruz stood on a principle of fair treatment and for that he might get a Republican Party primary challenge from an evangelical Christian leader?

Explain it to me. Please.

How do you keep this event a secret?

I just took part in one of those goofy online “polls” that asked: Do you think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of President Kennedy?

I hit “yes.” Most of the respondents, more than 60 percent of them, said “no.”

This stuff makes me cringe. It makes me want to scream.

The conspiracy debate has been fired up yet again with the president’s decision to release nearly 3,000 pages of documents relating to the 20th century’s most heinous single crime. I keep circling back to a couple of key notions regarding the conspiracy idea that someone helped Oswald kill the 35th president of the United States.

One, how does one keep such a monumental event secret?

I have grappled with that one for decades. I am utterly baffled by the notion that someone or a group of people could hide their role in such a crime from anyone. These nutty ideas that they’ve all been killed just don’t add up. Why? Because someone did the killing. Who? How? Where?

Two, does anyone actually believe that a sharp-eyed journalist couldn’t or wouldn’t reveal to the world who did such a thing?

C’mon, folks! Those ding dongs who broke into the Watergate office complex in June 1972 were revealed in fairly short order to be working for a presidential re-election committee. We found a direct line to the truth in pretty quick order.

I’ll stipulate once again that I believe from the depths of my gut that Lee Harvey Oswald acted all by himself. No one saw this guy coming. JFK’s trip to Dallas in November 1963 had alarmed folks who were worried about an attack from the far right — the John Birchers, for instance — who were so highly critical of the president.  Oswald was a Marxist. He snuck in under everyone’s radar. Such things are possible, you know?

Dare I mention, oh, the attacks of 9/11? There, I just did.

I would ask that we cease and desist with this JFK conspiracy nonsense. Except that it won’t end. Not ever.

JFK conspiracy talk might fire up again

You may now consider me an official JFK anti-conspiracy believer.

Donald J. Trump has decided to allow the release of thousands of pages of FBI and CIA documents relating to the Nov. 22, 1963 assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas.

I’m glad the president has made this call. It should help dispel the loony conspiracy theories that have been kicked around since Lee Harvey Oswald shot the president to death and severely injured Texas Gov. John Connally.

The release should do this. It won’t. It is likely to fire up the goofballs.

For the record, here is what I believe.

I believe Oswald was able to sneak into the Book Depository Building. I also believe he was able to fire off three rounds at the president’s limo in the time investigators believe it took for the three rounds to inflict their deadly damage. I further believe Oswald acted alone.

I never have bought into the conspiracy lunacy. I never will.

Instead, I look at this event thusly: There is no way in the world to keep such a conspiracy a secret for 54 days, let alone 54 years. Does any serious person really believe an enterprising reporter couldn’t ferret out the truth to such a conspiracy if one really existed?

I am going endorse the theory posited years ago by the late Los Angeles County District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi, who wrote what I consider to be the definitive book on the Kennedy murder.

Bugliosi believes the reason the conspiracy theories likely will live forever is that Americans cannot believe a loser such as Oswald could pull off what some have called the Crime of the 20th Century.

I happen to believe that Oswald’s status as a chump loser makes him the perfect candidate to exact the demented form of vengeance he sought against the president or perhaps even Gov. Connally.

So, on Thursday the records will be released for public review. I welcome them. I want them to put to rest these idiotic notions about conspiracy, second gunmen, the Mob, the Soviet Union or the Cubans having some hand in this murder.

That’s my hope. My fear is that the conspiracy nut cases will fire up their nonsense yet again.

JFK murder myth will live forever

Maybe we can get to the bottom of Cruz-JFK ‘conspiracy’

One of the potential benefits of declassifying thousands of documents relating to President Kennedy’s assassination involves one of the many lies spouted by Donald John Trump during the 2016 Republican Party presidential primary.

You see, the man who would become president spewed out this hideous assertion that the father of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas — one of Trump’s primary opponents — might have had some kind of nefarious relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald, the guy who shot JFK to death in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

Trump said he read somewhere that Rafael Cruz met with Oswald prior to the murder, implying that the elder Cruz had might have been somehow, in some fashion complicit in the assassination.

The nonsensical implication has been widely debunked, but it gained a bit of traction among the more avid corps of Trumpkins who stand by their man — no matter what.

I’m not clear as to whether the president will release all the documents. My preference would be for him to do so. The public is ready to know the whole truth behind the hideous crime.

I also want to expose the president as the habitual liar and character assassin many of us already believe him to be.

Size may matter at the next inaugural

Size became something of a back-story issue during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Donald J. Trump boasted continually about the size of the crowds at his rallies. He compared them to those of his Republican Party primary rivals and then to those of Democratic Party nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton.

And, oh yeah, size of an entirely different kind became a talking point during one of those endless GOP presidential debate with Trump and his horde of challengers. I won’t go any further with that one.

But, take a peek at the picture attached to this blog post.

It was taken on Jan. 20, 2009, when Barack H. Obama delivered his first inaugural speech in front of the U.S. Capitol Building. The size of that crowd is now generally accepted as the largest assemblage ever for a presidential inaugural. The previous record crowd was thought to be at President Lyndon Johnson’s inaugural on Jan. 20, 1965.

LBJ had just been elected in his own right in a historic landslide and he — like Obama — took office amid a national mood of hope for a better day. Lord knows the country had gone through the tragic nightmare of a presidential assassination in November 1963.

My thought, then, is this: Will Donald Trump be able to boast about the size of the crowd that gathers before him in 14 days as he delivers his inaugural speech?

That ol’ trick knee of mine is telling me the Trump inaugural crowd is going to be, um, substantially smaller than the one pictured with his post.

And it well could speak volumes about the hope — or the lack of hope — much of the country will feel when the new president takes the oath of office.

But, hey. It’s only a crowd and in this context — in the world of Trump — size really doesn’t matter.

Or does it?

Cruz gets pounded … by Texas delegates!

Cruz_Trump_ap_img

So help me, I think I need an intervention.

I’m about to stand up for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Cruz spoke last night to the Republican National Convention. The so-called “smart money” had been put down by those who were certain he would endorse GOP nominee Donald J. Trump.

Cruz didn’t go there. He didn’t go anywhere near there. He stood before the convention crowd and encouraged them to “vote your conscience.”

A lot of delegates took that to mean “vote for anyone other than our nominee.” They started booing. Loudly.

This morning, Sen. Cruz stood before the Texas convention delegation and defended himself against his fellow Texans.

https://www.texastribune.org/2016/07/21/cruzs-failure-to-endorse-trump-upsets-voters-video/

I totally support Cruz’s decision to decline to endorse Trump.

Sen. Cruz has good reason. The nominee “defamed” Cruz’s father by implying that Daddy Cruz might have been complicit in the assassination of President Kennedy. Rafael Cruz supposedly had spoken to Lee Harvey Oswald before JFK was shot to death. Therefore, the innuendo was planted.

Trump also released a tweet showing Heidi Cruz, the former GOP candidate’s wife, in an unflattering picture.

Cruz said this morning that Trump had defamed his father and maligned his wife.

How in the world does a candidate toss all that aside and then endorse a candidate for the presidency of the United States?

I am not privy to Cruz’s ulterior motive. There’s been much chatter today about how is now planning to run for president again in 2020, presuming that Trump loses the election this fall.

In the context of the current convention climate and the current nominee, I believe Ted Cruz did what he felt he had to do.

Sure, he’s going to take plenty of flak from other Republicans.

He’s not, though, the “sore loser” others have called him. I prefer to think of him as a loving husband and son.

Mike Pence: ‘attack dog’

pence

Commentators all over the country are saying essentially the same thing about Mike Pence, the Republican vice-presidential nominee-to-be.

He will assume the role of presidential nominee Donald J. Trump’s “attack dog.”

That has me scratching my noggin.

Does that mean Trump actually needs someone now to take the fight to Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Democrats? Hasn’t the GOP candidate done a good job of that already, all by himself?

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/mike-pence-radio-show-225661

Pence said all the right things this morning when Trump trotted him out and introduced him as his running mate. He cited two reasons for accepting this challenge, the second of which was that Hillary Rodham Clinton shouldn’t ever become president of the United States. With that he received the biggest applause he would get from the crowd assembled inside the meeting room.

Pence will be an attack dog, but my strong hunch is that his attacks are going to look mighty tame compared to what Trump has launched already throughout this campaign.

Look what Trump did to every one of his Republican rivals? He was able to hang labels on several of them. He pilloried some of them with insults. For good measure, he tossed out some innuendo — such as when he implied that Sen. Ted Cruz’s father might have been complicit in President Kennedy’s murder.

Did it bother his ardent fans? Oh, no. It endeared him to them.

Gov. Mike Pence’s attack dog role will represent a “doubling down” of a strategy that Donald Trump has employed already with astonishing success.

What will Cruz tell Texas delegates?

tedcruz_0

Inquiring minds, it’s been said more than once, want to know.

They want to know just what U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is going to tell Texas delegates to the Republican National Convention when he stands before them.

You see, the man dubbed “Lyin’ Ted” by the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump, is still stinging over his loss of the GOP primary battle. Trump hung that epithet on Cruz and also said some outrageous things about Cruz’s father — and his campaign also mistreated Cruz’s wife in a terribly cruel fashion.

Cruz won the Texas primary back in March.

https://www.texastribune.org/2016/07/15/cruz-ryan-among-speakers-texas-delegates-cleveland/

I’m having difficulty imagining the junior U.S. senator telling those delegates it’s all right for them to back Trump now that their guy — Cruz — is out of the race.

Indeed, Cruz himself hasn’t endorsed Trump and I am doubting an endorsement will be forthcoming.

How does Cruz offer his unconditional support to someone who suggested that his own father might have been complicit in the murder of President John F. Kennedy? And how does he back the man whose campaign put that ghastly tweet out that showed Heidi Cruz, the senator’s wife, making some kind of sour-grapy face?

I am no political fan of Sen. Cruz. I don’t want him anywhere near the Oval Office any more than I want Trump to take a seat there.

A part of me wishes I could be the proverbial fly on the wall when Cruz stands before the Texas convention delegates to tell them what he thinks of the guy their party is about to nominate for president of the United States of America.

Hey, he might just tell them: Y’all are on your own.