Monday, January 18, 2016

Documentary on MLK's Murder is Full of Misinformation and Fact Gaps

AHC (American Heroes Channel) is now running a documentary called "Justice For MLK: The Hunt For James Earl Ray." It purports to tell the story of how Dr. Martin Luther King was killed and how his alleged assassin was captured. But it's long on myth and short on relevant facts. It adds little to the historical record, but like a comforting fairy tale it tries to assuage our nagging doubts about the ubiquitous lone-gunman myth used to explain away all '60s assassinations. Like in the JFK and RFK killings, legitimate evidence exists to inculpate conspirators and covert operatives in MLK's killing, but this evidence is ignored. Instead Gerald Posner, the prevaricating viper who gave us "Case Closed," is dragged out once again to spew disinformation. (Side note: Posner physically resembles a snake; he has dark, lifeless eyes and a misshapen cobra head. So my description is not an unfair ad hominem attack; his soulless, sickening servility to the intelligence establishment notwithstanding.)

It's what's missing and unexplored that gives us pause. For instance, the FBI is presented as dogged, relentless pursuers of King's killer despite the fact that J. Edgar Hoover despised MLK. Hoover once wrote a letter to King imploring King to cease his bestial sexual perversions or commit suicide. (I do not know if Hoover wrote this letter while dressed in woman's clothing and in the arms of his homosexual lover, but one can speculate.) Hoover's FBI was more likely to pin a medal on King's murderer than apprehend him. In fact, the arrest of James Earl Ray took months, supposedly because Ray was a master criminal who deftly used many aliases and false documents to evade capture. The truth is, Ray was a petty criminal with a low IQ who could not cross the street without help from powerful interests. Moreover, much like Lee Harvey Oswald, he had no known motive for killing King. Ray's own brother swore that James Earl was no racist.

There are other problems. How did Ray know where King was staying in Memphis on April 4, 1968? With a police dragnet surrounding the Lorraine Motel, how did Ray, presumably with rifle in hand, rent a room a short distance from the Lorraine without arousing suspicion? Immediately after King was shot, how did Ray escape the police dragnet so easily? What were military intelligence officers and FBI agents doing in the immediate vicinity of the Lorraine as the shot rang out? (Even the slithery Posner admits shadowy government agents were in the area.) Why did these agents and law enforcement run away from the flop house from which the shot was fired, even as all those near King were pointing directly at the flop house as the source of the shot?

Ray supposedly escaped in the most recognized and noticeable vehicle of the day, a white 1966 Ford Mustang, yet no Memphis cop or FBI agent saw it evade the many roadblocks thrown up just minutes after the assassination. The AHC documentary claims that a kid on a CB radio misled authorities. Sounds more like the Keystone Kops were running the investigation. Or maybe there was no genuine effort to catch anyone.

Ray was finally identified and detained two months later on the day after RFK died in Los Angeles. Ray, who spent time in LA before the King murder, might have been a roving patsy. A rootless nobody with low-level intelligence connections unwittingly waiting for his puppeteers to pin a murder on him. These wandering CIA patsies did exist. Lee Harvey Oswald was the most prominent one. There were others--Gordon Novell, Thane Eugene Cesar, Gerry Patrick Hemming, and Thomas Arthur Vallee to name just a few.

The bottom line is this: If you believe it is mere coincidence that the three most powerful voices on the left in the 1960s were all gunned down by lone gunmen without any tangible motive, you are quite naïve. Or you are a Posner.



Monday, December 28, 2015

Tea Partiers Are Stupid; The Problem Is They Don’t Know It

Okay, let’s not mince words. Right wingers are just dumb. They live in a fact-less world, where made-up stuff flies everywhere. They get their information from FOX, Limbaugh, Beck and other dolts. We on the left know this, but we can’t convince the right of it because the right will not be persuaded by facts, statistics, logic, or science. In other words, the Republican base is adamantly ignorant, proudly so, and proudly unaware of it. This phenomenon has a name—the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Acknowledgment of this phenomenon comes from an article posted by M.E. Miller on Daily Kos. He writes, “The Dunning-Kruger effect comes out of research conducted by David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University since 1999. Over the years, Dunning and Kruger have conducted studies over a wide range of cognitive tasks. Following the skill assessment, subjects are shown their results, and then asked to rate their performance on a percentile basis. What they have found is that those performing well — say, 65th %ile and higher — exhibit a quite accurate assessment of where they placed, while those who do more poorly are unaware of their own poor performance. In fact, those who do quite badly, say at the 15th %ile, tend to overestimate their relative skill by 50% or more.

"A way to summarize these results is to say that those who are truly stupid are too stupid to realize that they are stupid. As Dunning has put it, slightly less colorfully:
If you're incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent.… [T]he skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is.

"This explains quite a lot about our world, especially about the limitations on our ability to propagate a reality-based worldview. It explains nearly the whole phenomenon of Fox News and its viewers.”

As Forrest Gump once said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Friday, December 4, 2015

Senate Republicans Vote To Arm ISIL, Ravage The Middle Class, Make The Rich Richer, And Deprive Millions Of Access To Health Care

The U.S. Senate, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Koch brothers and the National Rifle Association, made a stand for violence, poverty and sickness in America the other day. That’s right, in the wake of another gun-violence bloodbath, Republicans searched their souls, hearts, and collective conscience…and, realizing, they had none of those things, voted to make all Americans (except the very wealthy) more susceptible to death and financial ruin.

The timing of the Senate vote is, well, cruel to say the least. At a moment when the blood of San Bernardino victims is not yet dry, Republicans refused to restrict gun access for those on the national terror watch list. Think about this for a moment. Right-wing politicians are okay with arming known radical Muslims, even though these same politicians regularly complain that Obama is doing nothing to stop known radical Muslims. Does it not occur to right-wingers that disarming terrorists might be a good first step to stopping home-grown terrorist attacks? As Hillary Clinton so eloquently stated, “If suspected terrorists are too dangerous to allow on planes, they should not be able to own guns.”

But when did Republicans ever let logic, sensibility, and compassion creep into their world view? Their brand is stupidity. Their priority is ignorance. Their values are warped. They are more concerned with pleasing their NRA overlords than they are with keeping guns out of the hands of ISIL.

San Bernardino will bring new howls about mental illness being the source of violence, but this claim has no basis. According to Joshua Holland, a writer for The Nation magazine, “We don’t yet know what set off this latest bloodbath, but we know a lot about gun violence in America. We know that our mental-health care system is indeed broken. But the gun lobby’s ubiquitous claims that fixing it will address the scourge of gun violence are merely a distraction from the real issue. Epidemiological studies show that the vast majority of the mentally ill aren’t violent. They tend to kill themselves at a disproportionate rate. Duke University psychiatrist Jeffrey Swanson told Health Day that people suffering from those kinds of mental-health problems are responsible for only 4 percent of the gun violence in America. Ultimately, talking about mental illness obscures the real problem: We’re awash in firearms and refuse to take the steps needed to keep them out of the wrong hands. Perhaps the most frightening thing we know about gun violence comes from a study conducted by researchers at Duke, Harvard, and Columbia that was published earlier this year in the journal Behavioral Sciences and the Law. It found that almost one in 10 Americans who have access to guns are also prone to impulsive outbursts of rage. Among this group are almost 4 million people who carry their guns around in public and say they ‘have tantrums or angry outbursts,’ ‘get so angry [that they] break or smash things’ and lose their temper and ‘get into physical fights.’ The researchers also found that those who own many firearms are significantly more likely to exhibit signs of uncontrollable anger than people who own just one. The authors of the study noted that very few among that group had been diagnosed with the kinds of mental illness that would be unearthed in a standard background check. They say that we need to start restricting gun ownership based on whether people have a history of violence, not on diagnosed mental illness.”

God save us from angry, impulsive, gun-toting Americans…because the Republicans never will.



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

That Lying Witch Fiorina Now Has Blood On Her Hands

Domestic terrorist Robert Dear revealed his true motives for shooting up a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado last week when he uttered, “no more baby parts.” Where could he have gotten the absurd notion that this clinic was involved in selling baby parts? Only one place I know of…the black hole of lies called Carly Fiorina.

Fiorina, if you don’t know (and I’m sorry I do), is a right-wing witch’s brew of hateful disinformation, who sputters the most outrageous things from her filthy hole in a desperate attempt to raise her poll numbers from the non-existent to the barely visible. In this abhorrent season of sociopathic Republican debates, where one idiot tries to outlie the other, Fiorina is the token female prevaricator, and she wants her whoppers to stand out. In one debate she shrilly screamed about a Planned Parenthood videotape showed babies being harvested for their body parts. No such video exists; Carly the Witch made it up.

A harmless lie, some may say. But not when dangerous right-wing psychopaths, like Dear, hear it and believe it. Murdered citizens is what you get. Republicans have claimed Dear was not politically motivated, but his ex-wife divulged the truth. Dear, she said, “…has targeted the reproductive health organization before.” In an interview with NBC News, Barbara Mescher Michaux said Robert Dear put glue in the locks of another Planned Parenthood clinic when they were married more than 20 years ago. She characterized him in an affidavit she filed to divorce him in 1993 and in her Tuesday interview as a violent, isolated man. “For him to plan this and go there, he meant to go there," she said. "There is no doubt in my mind. He is very right wing."

No word on whether Robert watched the Republican debates. But it’s a good bet that he got his information from Carly. She has staked out the “anti-PP baby parts” platform, and now she has to own it. Republicans must realize that when they spout hatred and lies that they are fueling the lunatic fringe to act out. Nuts with guns are their most rabid constituents. Domestic terrorists are aching for a reason, even a false one, to compensate for inadequacies by shooting someone. Their white-hot anger needs only someone to light the match.

Unfortunately, Fiorina is devoid of any conscience or compassion. She has distanced herself from the shootings and any blame for the bloodshed. Now I wish she would distance herself from us. Please mount your broomstick and fly away, Carly. Or perhaps someone can just throw a bucket of water on her?



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

More Proof That Federal Agents Confiscated, Altered, and Destroyed Photographic Evidence Which Could Have Proven There Was a Second Gunman in Dealey Plaza

Readers of this blog may recall that on November 14, 2013, I posted an article concerning the mysterious disappearances and alterations of the photographic evidence in the JFK assassination. The search for at least some of the missing films and pictures is ongoing. The following article appeared on Yahoo News today:

“In a new lawsuit, Gayle Nix Jackson, the granddaughter of Orville Nix, who captured the assassination on film, is suing the U.S. government for the return of her grandfather’s footage.

“The suit, filed against the United States of America and the National Archives and Records Administration, claims that Nix’s footage was handed over to the FBI in December 1963 and used by the Warren Commission in its investigation of the assassination, but has not yet been returned.

“‘Without the Defendants taking any accountability let alone identifying the whereabouts of the original Nix film by negligence or otherwise, the granddaughter of Orville Nix initiates this action,’ reads the suit, filed in federal court in the District of Columbia on Saturday. ‘This action seeks the return of the original Nix film that would provide an opportunity for researchers and others to examine the JFK assassination and grassy knoll area…’”

The Nix film is just one of many images recorded by bystanders in Dealey Plaza when Kennedy was murdered. Most of those images have gone missing or have been altered to remove indication of a conspiracy. There were many mysterious men, most unidentified to this day, who confiscated films immediately after the shooting occurred. It is apparent, then, that part of the plotters’ plan was to wipe out photographic evidence of shooters and shots other than from behind (Oswald’s supposed position in the Texas School Book Depository).

In light of Gayle Nix Jackson’s allegations, I think it would be valuable to reprint my 11/14/13 blog. Here it is in full:

“When people ask me why a clear photo of another shooter in Dealey Plaza has never been found, I tell them it’s because all photos and films were confiscated by ‘authorities’ shortly after the shooting. Some of these photos and films were never returned to the rightful owners. Other images were edited or cropped to delete conspiratorial content. Some were misinterpreted. Some pictures were just reported lost; some cameras were even stolen.

“Gordon Arnold took a home movie of the assassination while standing almost directly in the line of fire by the picket fence on the grassy knoll. He hit the deck and covered up when the shots whizzed right over his head. Quickly two ‘cops’ emerged from behind the fence and demanded, at gunpoint, that Arnold turn over his camera. One of the cops was carrying a rifle and the other was sobbing uncontrollably.

“Phil Willis, standing on the south side of Elm Street with his family, swears he took a picture of Jack Ruby walking in front of the Texas Book Depository right after the shooting. Ruby said he was not in the plaza at the time of the shooting, and proof of his presence there would have sent conspiratorial shockwaves through the investigation. When Willis got his photo back, he saw that it had been cropped right through the image he claimed was Jack Ruby.

“Canadian journalist Norman Similas was in Dealey Plaza at the time of the shooting, and he took photographs of the open sixth-floor window of the Book Depository, the exact location of Oswald’s sniper’s nest. When his film was later developed it showed two men in the window, which would indicate Oswald had conspirators. When he submitted the photo to his newspaper in Toronto, the negative went missing. He has never seen it again.

“Orville Nix took an amateur film of the assassination with a good view of the grassy knoll in the background, and what appears to be a gunman behind the fence. According to Crossfire, by Jim Marrs, ‘…Itek Corporation, which handles government contracts and is closely tied to the CIA, studied the film…and concluded that the gunman figure was actually shadows…[however] when Nix panned back over the area the ‘shadow figure’ is no longer visible.’ Nix gave his film to the FBI in 1963; supposedly the original was returned to him, but it has since disappeared. Nix died in 1972, and now his granddaughter is actively searching for the original.

“Beverly Oliver, another amateur filming from the south side of Elm, said that she was approached by government agents—either FBI or Secret Service—just days after the assassination. They said they were aware of her film and wanted to develop it for evidence. The agents confiscated the film, and Oliver never saw it again.

“Mary Moorman took one of the most famous photos of the assassination. It was a picture of JFK just as the bullet which killed him struck his head. Moorman’s photo has obviously been cropped. How do I know? Look closely sometime. There is no one driving the car. Limo driver William Greer, who some say pulled a gun and pointed it at JFK, has been cut out of the picture.”

These weren’t the only JFK assassination pictures to be destroyed or altered. The Zapruder film was doctored to fit the lone gunman scenario; several rolls of autopsy photos were destroyed; a photo of Jack Ruby in Dealey Plaza at the time of the shooting was cropped; photos of LBJ’s swearing in aboard Air Force One were “lost”; and it has been rumored that Dave Powers’ film of the motorcade was destroyed.

For more on the photographic cover-up in the assassination of JFK, read The President’s Mortician, available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/dp/098882907X

Monday, November 23, 2015

Scientists Finally Fact Check The Republicans; They All Flunk

This Republican presidential campaign cycle has sunk to new lows. Stupidity is a virtue. Ignorance is a blessing. Believing in myths raises one’s poll numbers. Hatred is rewarded. Intolerance is applauded. Violent threats are encouraged. Warmongering is all the rage.

The attributes which make one suitable to win the Republican nomination are ones that a troglodyte would be proud of. They would make a circus clown blush. Even elephants have more sense. Sociopaths have more compassion. Imprisoned felons are more qualified for high office. Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne are smarter.

What does this say about Republican voters? Well, if the candidates reflect their followers’ values, GOP voters are viciously angry, criminally uninformed, heartless, soulless, hate-filled white Christian extremists. Lacking the conscience necessary to qualify as human beings, the candidates pander to this base and say the most outrageous things.

Recently, a panel of scientific experts was convened to fact check what Republicans have to say about climate change. What a great idea. Finally, smart people calling out stupid people and the stupid things they say. The Republicans graded out as imbeciles. The harshest comments were reserved for Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.

"This individual [Cruz] understands less about science (and climate change) than the average kindergartner," Michael Mann, a Pennsylvania State University meteorology professor, wrote of Cruz's statements. "That sort of ignorance would be dangerous in a doorman, let alone a president."

Harvard scientist Jim McCarthy, a former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, called Trump's comments "nonsense," while Emmanuel Vincent, a climate scientist at the University of California, Merced, said, "the candidate does not appear to have any commitment to accuracy."

I suggest we convene panels of experts in all areas to fact check each moronic utterance that emits from Republican mouths. At each Republican debate [when will they ever end?] let’s gather religious historians, constitutional scholars, law professors, crime statisticians, economic wizards, and foreign policy experts to call “bullshit” on every Republican whopper. The fate of America, and the globe, should not be left to a bunch of ruthless jackals and inveterate liars.

www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/dp/098882907X

Sunday, November 22, 2015

JFK—Gone 52 Years But Not Forgotten

The last real President we had (read: not beholden to the corrupting influence of the Pentagon, wealthy defense contractors and corporate overlords) was brutally murdered 52 years ago today, and those responsible for the crime will never be brought to justice. But on this day, I’d rather remember JFK for his courageous stand against the shadow government which has ruled America ever since, rather than be bitter about the treasonous culprits who got away with the coup d’etat on November 22, 1963.

In the first months of his presidency, Jack Kennedy was trapped into foolishly permitting an ill-fated CIA-planned invasion of Cuba. The Bay of Pigs fiasco taught him two important lessons: the CIA under Eisenhower had become a secret government unto its own, accountable to no one, and responsible for overthrowing democratic governments across the globe; and the Joints Chiefs’ military advice could not be trusted. Subsequently, Kennedy, acting on his own, refused to succumb to the nuclear-holocaust dreams of his psychopathic generals. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, he bravely and shrewdly kept us out of World War III with the Soviet Union. He cut the CIA’s budget. He vowed to remove all American military presence from Vietnam in his second term. He was determined to make peace with the Russians rather than enter into a deadly exchange of atomic weapons which would have annihilated all life on Earth. He signed a nuclear test ban treaty. He suggested that peace, rather than war, become America’s way of life.

Since his death, we have constantly been at war, or under the threat of war, and, thus, have been a people under siege for the last half century. Concomitantly, we have seen the rise of the military-industrial complex to the point where we have become, truly, JFK’s worst nightmare: a war-based economy. It is estimated that 65% of our national budget is devoted to military spending, and not one candidate currently running for high office dares to suggest that we cut military spending. Terrorism and the threat of terrorism is the new ploy to empty our pockets. We remain the world’s policemen, cleaning up incidents that happen thousands of miles from our shores. All so that Lockheed, the Carlyle Group, and Halliburton can profit mightily. It is not an overstatement to say that these war profiteers secretly control America. For with their billions they are able finance the campaigns of candidates who hold the purse strings on military spending. These candidates’ nationalistic and jingoistic rhetoric inflame the population and create enemies across the globe. It is good for business. The policies of the war state are most profitable when the nation lives in a perpetual state of fear. And the merchants of military build-up--in our Congress, in the Pentagon, and in our Executive branch—make sure we are always in a state of fear.

The novel idea of peaceful co-existence with sovereign states, whose cultures, religions, and political systems, are different from ours, died with JFK in Dallas 52 years ago today. Consider what might have been had he not been killed. These are his words from a speech delivered on June 10, 1963, when he urged Americans to consider peaceful coexistence with the Soviet Union:

“What kind of a peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace – the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living – the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children – not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women – not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.”

www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/dp/098882907X