Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Ceaselessly looking for ways to topple the Black Muslim, socialist, Kenyan President, conservatives have crosses blazing and rhetoric on fire like it's a KKK meeting. They think they have finally latched onto some meaty Obama scandals, and hatemongers like Darryl Issa, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and the rest of the Klan are whipping the base into a frenzy. And what's at the center of all the hoohah? An attack of a middle East consulate (54 of which occurred under W without so much as a whimper from the right), the Justice Department tapping phones in the name of national security (a daily occurrrence under Cheney), and some zealous IRS agents doing the job they were paid to do. The Benghazi incident is much ado about nothing. The Republicans are acting like Obama himself, M-16 in hand, attacked our embassy and killed a few of our foreign delegation. The phone taps were apparently unlawful, but right-wingers were mute when Dick Cheney regularly used his AT&T cronies to spy on left-wingers' phone calls during the Bush administration. And W used the IRS against his political enemies. A liberal southern California church which took a stand against the Iraq War was hounded for years by W's IRS. That IRS church was targeted for unwarranted auditing and was threatened with the loss of its tax-exempt status. A year later the NAACP was attacked in the same way after the civil rights organization criticized various Bush administration policies. These were legitimate tax-exempt organizations, unlike the phony Tea Party groups who seek only to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Here's how these right-wing groups work: One fringe hillbilly says to another fringe hillbilly, "Hey, let's me and you git us a name and call ourself sumpin' like 'Patriots for Freedom.' Thattaway, we can ask for donations and we ain't a-gonna have to pay no taxes on that there money. We'll show that uppity Obama." Hundreds of these groups have cropped up in recent years, and they need to be scrutinized. They are nothing but illegal tax avoidance schemes, and they should be policed by the IRS. Which is exactly what the IRS was doing, until some Tea Party nut came along and cried foul. Now these tax frauds will be immune from prosecution, and rednecks everywhere will be forming their own tax-exempt "Fascists for Freedom" groups.
Friday, May 10, 2013
It is sometimes a burdensome and wearying task to educate the uninformed about the truth of the Kennedy assassination, but I feel compelled to do it whenever I bump into a coincidence theorist (i.e., one who believes Oswald acted alone, or a "lone nutter). I call them coincidence theorists because they must overlook a mountain of suspicious coincidences to believe no conspiracy was involved in JFK's murder. For instance, the accused murderer had a direct link to one of the men charged with investigating the murder. Lee Harvey Oswald and his family lived with Ruth Paine in Dallas at the time of the assassination. Ruth Paine's mother was best friends with Mary Bancroft, Allen Dulles's mistress. You know, the same Allen Dulles who was on the Warren Commission. Ruth Paine's statements to authorities helped frame Oswald for the murder. Dulles never disclosed his relationship to Paine. Just a little suspicious, don't you think? Anyway, the other day a stranger sitting next to me is reading a copy of Vincent Bugliosi's book "Reclaiming History." I casually remarked, "You don't believe those lies, do you?" The stranger looked at me like, "Who are you?" I told him I was an author currently working on a book about the assassination called "The President's Mortician." His eyes narrowed in disbelief. He fumbled for words, and finally said, "Why Mortician?" I replied, "Because a mortician alterd JFK's wounds as the the President's corpse was being transported between Dallas Parkland Hospital and Bethesda Naval Hospital on Novemeber 22, 1963." The stranger exclaimed, "Why would anyone do that?" "Simple," I said. "To make it appear as if he had been shot from the back and not the front. Thus the autopsy report could be used to frame Oswald." The stranger gathered his thoughts and said, "But that would mean that the autopsy had to contradict what the Dallas doctors said. How do you know which group of doctors was right?" I responded, "Whom should we believe? The doctors who were experts in gunshot wounds and who saw JFK immediately after he was shot, or the autopsy doctors who had never performed an autopsy before and who were not experts in gunshot pathology and who saw JFK six hours after he was shot?" The stranger put down the book and thought about that one for a while.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
In a stunning display of uncritical journalism yesterday, the Topeka Capital Journal reported that the Dallas cop who was supposed to protect Lee Harvey Oswald gave a speech at Washburn University where he insisted that Oswald acted alone. "Retired Dallas police detective Jim Leavelle told a standing-room-only crowd at Washburn University that Oswald killed Kennedy because he wanted to be famous." This raises many troubling questions: 1) They really have universities in Kansas? 2) Does anyone teach history at these universities? 3) Who would pay 92-year-old Jim Leavelle, who failed at the only important task he ever had in his life, to travel all the way to Kansas to spread his preposterous falsehoods? 4) What sort of real college students/journalists would let him get away with it? Well, as Dorothy said, we're not in Kansas anymore, Jim, and it's time to disspell your lies. According to the Capital Journal, Leavelle believes no shots missed the limousine. He said, "...the first shot struck Kennedy, the second shot struck Texas Gov. John Connally, sitting in front of Kennedy, and the third hit Kennedy." This would certainly be news to bystander James Tague who was struck in the face by a piece of pavement dislodged by a shot that completely missed the limousine. Either there was a second gunman (which means conspiracy) or there were four shots fired by Oswald (physically impossible given the timeframe indicated by the Zapruder film). However, the unthinking Kansans apparently swallowed Leavelle's whopper whole. Leavelle went on to say that "...the president didn't bear any entry wounds to the front of his body." Apparently Jim considers himself an expert on forensic anantomy too. Too bad the Dallas doctors did not agree with him. At a press conference immediately following the assassination, Dr. Malcolm Perry stated three times that the President had been shot from the front. He noted an entry wound at the base of the throat and an exit wound at the back of the head. Truth 2, Jim 0. Leavelle also claimed that "three tramps arrested a few blocks from the Kennedy shooting were just tramps travelling through Dallas." No mention of the fact that two of the tramps were CIA killers Charles Rogers and Charles V. Harrelson. And no mention of the fact that the "policemen" who made the "arrest" let an interloper come between them and their "prisoners." The interloper was positively indentified as Edward Lansdale, Air Force general and CIA officer. Strike three, Jim is out. If it weren't so appalling, Jim's appearance at some backwater school in Kansas would be amusing. But all critical thinkers and all who treasure historical truth cannot sit idly by and let people like Leavelle get away with their outlandish lies. Leavelle is particularly galling because he failed to protect Oswald. He let Ruby walk right up and shoot him. You've all seen the pictures of that murder...Leavelle is the one on Oswald's right, wearing a white suit and a Stetson hat. He merely stares passively as the most important prisoner of the 20th century is gunned down. Now Jim dresses in the same stupid hillbilly hat he wore on Nov. 24, 1963, as a sort of perverse celebrity traveling from hick town to hick town, getting paid for being historically incompetent. The most lamentable part is, had JFK's life not been taken by a sophisticated, diabolical, massive intelligence plot, we would never have to be subjected to rubes like Leavelle pissing on history and profiting from our dead president's demise. Being from Texas, and having been a detective in the Dallas police department (where membership in the John Birch Society or the KKK was a prerequisite for promotion), I'm sure ol' Jim despised President Kennedy.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Last week FOX blowhard Tucker Carlson bemoaned the "moocher class" in America, those at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder who have been left behind by corporate America. They have been downsized, outsourced, laid off, and left to fend for themselves. They are unemployed, homeless, and barely able to make ends meet. They are collecting meager unemployment checks, barely enough to let them starve to death. But Tucker thinks they are moochers, sucking at the teat of capitalism. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth and a hole in his chest where his heart should be, Tucker is oblivious to the fact that this is how capitalism works. There must be many at the bottom (Carlson's moochers) so that the few at the top can thrive. Tucker should be grateful for the dregs of society, for it is on their backs that Tucker's class built their great fortune. Not everyone can be a king of industry, and what few kings there are need hordes of peons to do the dirty work. The lowly construction workers who built the Carlson family mansion, and who are now out of work because Tucker's class stole all their money in stock swindles and investment banking scams, make up the moocher class. Underpaid teachers, who have been laid off due to Tucker's political party's massive education cuts, taught little Tucker how to read and write so that he can now make a fortune spewing hate on FOX News. They are now moochers. The nannies who fed little Tucker his milk cannot afford health care and want some help from the government. The limo drivers who drove little Tucker to his country club don't want their Social Security cut. The servants who prepared little Tucker's foie gras need disability just to make ends meet. All this must infuriate Tucker because people are out there getting money that Tucker can't get his own hands on. And Tucker and his ilk WANT IT ALL. That's how they were raised--greedy, selfish, and completely unconcerned with the problems and struggles of others. They have no social conscience, and they will do anything to advance their own wealth, even to the detriment of everyone else. This, by the way, is capitalism's credo. A few rich people are meant to control everything: the means and methods of production and distribution, and the government by which the laws are made. That is what Tucker does not understand. The huge number of people at the bottom of the rung make it possible for the small number of people at the top of the rung to have everything. He should be thankful for the huddled masses' obsequiousness and servitude, and willingly provide them with the small scraps that fall off his table. For that is all they want. Take that away from them and they will have no choice but to rise up in revolution just to survive. Tucker and his class should take heed of what French aristocrats and Russian czars failed to learn: that starving the lower classes will endanger the existence of those at the top. Give them a loaf of bread; let them have their unemployment checks; don't cut their Medicare benefits. After all, these small morsels won't make a dent in Tucker's fortune. He can just hide a few more trust funds in the Caymans or Switzerland. He can lay off another chauffeur. Or he can cut back to two yachts and three summer homes. Small price to pay to keep the system in place. And the system is what keeps Tucker rich and the rest of us not rich. The last thing Tucker wants, whether he is aware of it or not, is a true democracy, whereby genuine social reform and class justice is implemented. The really smart billionaires understand this. Having everyone share in the pie would be the plutocrats' worst nightmare come true. The huddled masses having a genuine say in who runs the government is a real threat to the established oligarchy. The wealthy must maintain their freedom to buy, sell, and corrupt all that is good, so that their entrenched power remains entrenched. So, Tucker, a word to the wise: Shut your pampered, entitled, whiny trap before you piss off those beneath you and force them to rise up and show you what a bitch democracy can really be.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
The harm that conservatism does to the well-being of all Americans can be seen everywhere. Just watch the news some night. Last week there was a report that many states are now adopting laws that make it illegal to use cell phones while driving (except in an emergency). I thought, "Well, there is something that we can all agree on." But...no. Some Tea Party advocate came on and fervently claimed that this was yet another government-enforced infringement on our freedom. His selfish and dangerous exclamation clarified something for me: the difference between liberals and conservatives is quite simple. Liberals are macro thinkers, and their concern is for the greater good. Conservatives care only for themselves, to the detriment of the greater good. Whether the issue is gun control, taxation, cell phone usage, market regulation, or corporate greed, Republicans always take the side which will do more harm to the greatest amount of people. They can't bring themselves to ban texting while driving, even though it endangers everyone within driving distance of the texter. They can't bring themselves to ban assault weapons, even though it endangers anyone near a madman with an AK-47. They can't force the super-wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes, even though it stalls the economy and makes it harder for all of us to access services we need. In short, they stand united against the people while serving themselves and their rich masters. The greater good be damned. In America, Republicans get to hold us all hostage to their mania. This mindset smacks of sociopathology--the human disorder/disease that renders one incapable of compassion for other human beings. They have no heart, conscience or soul...and their only genuine feelings are for themselves. They are utterly incapable of empathy. They are manipulative, self-serving prevaricators. They are greedy, conniving, and narcissistic. We see these traits in murderers and other criminals (Ted Bundy was a rising young star in Washington state's Republican Party before he was apprehended for mutilating scores of women...and notice that Jodi Arias liked to wear hats with the Republican logo on them). Thankfully, not all Republicans are murderers; their rapaciousness overrides their violence. But in America it is not a crime to be greedy, self-absorbed, and cruel. And, sooner or later, Repulicanism brings us all to our knees. This gets to me thinking, is Republicanism a disease, and can it be cured? Should we be organizing telethons, like the MD Labor Day telethon, to eradicate this plague? If we fund research, can we find that there is a Republican gene? Or are Republicans made, not born? I would like to think that we are all born innocent, compassionate people, looking for the good in others and capable of promoting the greater good. But if that is so, then something happens to Republicans in childhood which turns them away from their better angels. Sociopaths are typically verbally and/or physically abused in childhood. Many grow up in tryannical homes, totally devoid of empathy for others. These children neither get nor give love. They feel the poor get what they deserve. (Prescott Bush used to drive his son, GHW Bush, around the seedier sections of Hartford, Conncecticut, and tell him that the impoverished were not deserving of our help because they made their own beds.) Unloved kids learn that power is all that matters in family dynamics and the world at large, because it is power, privilege and status that will protect them. They grow up distrusting others, and looking for all the ways to believe the worst in all of us. They become the tyrants who raised them, and, in turn, raise their own kids the same way. This is a depressing thought because it means we will never be rid of Republicanism. It is more comforting to think that there is a Republican gene, and that some day we can find a cure for it. Though funding for this project would be opposed by Republicans...after all, government is not in business to look after the greater good.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
My latest short story, "Back To Lopez Island," will appear in the soon-to-be-released horror anthology The Speed of Dark. Here a few samples of what reviewers had to say: Mario Guslandi of Horror World Book Reviews wrote: "Tim Fleming's 'Back To Lopez Island' is a remarkable, enticing whodunit blending horror, violence and the supernatural..." "This [The Speed of Dark] was a horror anthology I was mightily pleased to have read... There is a lot of scope and dimension in these short stories." - Jess Scott, author of To IRAQ and Back. "The Speed of Dark is an anthology of short tales of horror by Cynthia Ainworthe, Kenneth Weene, Clayton Bye, Micki Peluso, Mary Firman and more than a dozen other great writers. It's one of those hard-to-put-down books that keeps you up all night reading... and trembling. From the computer generated green terror in Retrovirus, to the dreadful secrets in the cellar in Taking Care of Mother and the unexpected fate of the man in room 627 in Hansom Dove, readers are sure to find that each of these macabre stories will keep them wanting to read one more before, if they dare, turning off the lights." - T.R. Heinan, author of L'immotalité: Madame Lalaurie and the Voodoo Queen. "In The Speed of Dark I got two things. One was excellent presentation with very good editing, and the other was well-written work that in most cases wasn't overly graphic, but which was interesting, involving and rarely over the top. Much of it was quietly creepy and, therefore, very effective." - Glenda's Bookshelves. The book will be available for sale on Amazon and Clayton Bye Productions by the end of March.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
So the new Pope is from South America, and he has expressed his concern for the poor. What exactly does that mean? Damned if I know. If you've ever visited the Vatican you'll know that it is adorned with some of the most valuable treasures and relics of art and artifact imaginable. Meanwhile, thousands starve to death each day across the globe. It is my opinion that if a single human starves to death while the Roman Catholic Church hordes it riches, the Church is a fraud and serves no real purpose on this earth. As a lapsed Catholic, I feel so disconnected from the religious spectacle of Rome (and the pseudo-suspense of Papal elections) that I think of it in the much the same way I think of beauty pageants--overhyped, sexist and devoid of any real meaning. Watching what I could stand of the media coverage the last few days, I got the impression that it was nothing more than a ratings grab for TV networks. Like a mid-season mini-series: "Who will the new Pope be? Find out tonight on the nightly news, sponsored by AT&T." Mindless sycophants who watch know nothing of the sordid history of the Church--the Inquisition, the ratlines Pius ran to evacuate Nazi criminals to South America, or the long legacy of pedophilia facilitation and denial. Come to think of it, I wonder if Pope Francis knew Eichman in Argentina? At least he wasn't a member of the Hitler youth like the previous guy. What would Jesus think of what the Church he founded has become? I can't imagine Him letting people starve while the Vatican bank stashes cash collected from the faithful. What's all this got to do with the existence of God? Well...though I talk like a heathen, I believe in God. One must believe in God, or else the SCABs will get away with it. Who are SCABs? Soulless, conscienceless, avaricious bastards (mostly white, conservative males) who run the world. And yes many of them are religious nuts--televangelsists, Baptist preachers, Catholic prelates, and all manner of scoundrels. They are about as interested in the humanist well-being of mankind as Mitt Romney is about the indigent. No...SCABs who run religious organizations, and the organizations themselves, have nothing to do with spirituality. Spirituality comes from within. It springs from genuine concern for others...from a deep desire that one further the causes of justice, equality, and benevolence in the world. Good people don't have to be religious, just selfless and caring. They don't have to make a show of their faith; they just have to know that profit and power will not procure the Kingdom of Heaven. And there really is a heaven. I have to believe this; I do believe this. Heaven is a place where no person reigns over another. Where injustice does not exist. Where truth prevails. And it is a place that SCABs (read Hitler, Limbaugh, Pope Pius, Glenn Beck, Wayne LaPierre, John Boehner, Todd Akin, Pinochet, Franco, et al) cannot enter. For their carcasses will eternally burn in the Netherworld. Don't believe me. Read your Scriptures. The righteous will sit with Him. You will be judged by how you treat the least among you. The last shall be first, and the first shall be last.