Thursday, April 16, 2015

How The Plotters Disguised JFK's Wounds; The Key To Unraveling The Mystery Of The Assassination

The men who plotted and executed JFK's murder thought they could forever bury the truth of their treachery by altering the medical evidence. How they attempted this is laid out in my novel, The President's Mortician. Here's an excerpt from the book:


Chapter 1


November 23, 1963
12:54 a.m.
Bethesda Hospital, Washington, D.C.



John Liggett needed a stiff drink to calm his nerves. He reached into his back pocket and removed a small, silver flask. He took a quick jolt of bourbon without trying to hide it from the mysterious men surrounding him and watching his every move. They were
spooks, military brass and Secret-Service types, and they seemed dissatisfied with his
work even though he had been at it, off and on, for more than seven hours now. He was
tired, anxious and scared.

Normal jobs never made him this stressed, for Liggett was confident, almost smugly so,
in his abilities as a reconstruction artist. Reconstruction artist was just a fancy name for a skilled mortician, and Liggett was as skillful as anyone in his field. His fellow morticians at Restland Funeral Home in Dallas all agreed that John was the best they had ever seen.

He rebuilt eye sockets blasted away by gun shots. He rebuilt ears and noses demolished
in car accidents. He once reconstructed a wife’s skull which had been shattered by her
baseball bat-wielding husband. He even re-attached a head which had been severed by a
locomotive. The grieving families were always grateful and always raved about John’s talents. He never failed to please his clientele.

But this was no normal job. Lying on the slab not two feet away was the slain body of the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy. And Liggett was now on his third reconstruction attempt. The cabal of traitors assembled in this cramped, smoky room did not want him to make JFK “whole” again for a presentable casket viewing.
They wanted to distort and disguise the dead president’s real wounds in order to hide the true source of the shots which killed him. Liggett knew the conspirators were trying to frame a “lone nut” killer. The problem was they kept changing their minds about how the lone nut did it. Liggett was on his third version of the head wound. The genuine wounds—a gunshot entry in the right temple area, an entry wound in the throat, and a fist-sized exit wound in the right rear of the head—had been obliterated earlier in the evening at Walter Reed Army Hospital, but the “government-approved” wounds were
still a work-in-progress. Evidence of frontal entry meant more than one shooter and that meant a conspiracy. And the conspirators were determined there be no talk of a
conspiracy that would lead back to them.

Regardless of the deceptive nature of his work, Liggett had no delusions about the true
nature of the crime. The CIA and the Joint Chiefs, and god knows who else, had been
behind it, and his job was to cover it up. The bastards had gone all the way this time, he thought. Though Liggett was apolitical and had never expressed any strong feelings
about Kennedy, one way or the other, even he was stunned at the brazenness of such an
act. And it rattled his composure. This was history, and Liggett was busy erasing any
trace of it.

At the urging of his sponsor—Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay—Liggett got back
to work on JFK’s head. LeMay bit hard on his cigar and barked out an instruction, “You
have to fix the back of the head here so that it looks like there is no exit wound.”

Liggett knew he had to make it look good for the autopsy photographers who had already
taken hundreds of photos of his incomplete work. But he also knew that no forgery of
this nature would be perfect. The brain had already been carved up to remove the bullet
fragments which did not match the patsy’s gun. The macerated mess which was left
could hardly have been made by a bullet’s exit. The incompetent and/or corrupt autopsy
doctors even commented on it. Commander James J. Humes—who had no experience
performing autopsies of gunshot victims—blurted out that someone had performed
surgery on JFK’s head, namely in the top of the skull. Since no such surgery had been
performed by the Dallas Parkland doctors, Humes’ slip of the tongue became an
inadvertent admission that the president’s body had been highjacked and tinkered with by
parties unknown. Liggett, seated in the bleachers of the Bethesda autopsy room at the
time, stiffened when he heard Humes’ words. He was afraid the whole shell game would
unravel. But General LeMay immediately came to the rescue. He told Humes to get
back to work and stop making editorial comments about things he knew nothing of.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Republicans Make It Legal To Starve People To Death In Indiana

Here in St. Louis the word "hoosier" is a derogatory term, applied to one who is uneducated, backwards, intellectually inferior, bigoted, and misinformed. In other words, a hoosier is a racist hillbilly. It comes as no surprise, then, that the official nickname for Indianans is "hoosiers"; at least not after the bill that the Indiana legislature passed and Republican Governor Mike Dense...I mean, Pence, signed into law recently. It is disingenuously called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (a name that only the sneakiest and most hypocritical politicians could dream up), but it's really a license to discriminate. Indiana business owners can now deny service to anyone they choose, or, more specifically, gays, blacks, Latinos, liberals, socialists, Obama voters, or anyone else they hate. Taken to its logical (read illogical) conclusion, this law can be used to starve people to death in Indiana.

Let's say restaurants, cafes, grocery stores, donut shops, Walmarts, and all other places where one can purchase food in Indiana are owned and operated by right-wing nutjobs (we know this is already true in the case of Chick-Fil-A and Papa John's). Theoretically, these food merchants can deny sustenance to anyone whom they suspect of being gay or religiously objectionable. This judgement is made by the proprietor at his or her own discretion, without any objective criteria. (My neighbor, an Indiana native, says the state is really just Mississippi North; he can just hear Republican hoosiers screaming, "I don't want no damn guvmint tellin a me who I kin serve and who I caint.") On this basis, proprietors can refuse to serve blacks, Hispanics, females, old, young, Democrats, etc. Using the RFDA as their cover, merchants can literally starve someone to death. Or deny them clothing in the winter. Or deny them transportation. Or deny them drinking water. Or heat in the winter. Or a home. Or any life-sustaining product or service. It's an extreme scenario, I know, but hypothetically possible when the citizenry has no protection from state-sanctioned discrimination practiced by business owners.

Pence and other Republican bigots claim the law is not meant to discriminate. If that is so, what exactly, then, is the purpose of the law? Republicans are talking out of both sides of their mouths as they, in the face of immense public backlash, try to put lipstick on this pig. Pence says the law is meant to provide Christian business owners with the right to refuse service to anyone they find objectionable. And who would right-wing Christians find objectionable? Let's see...maybe gays, blacks, immigrants, Democrats, feminists, anti-NRA groups, atheists, agnostics, Obamacare recipients, college students with outstanding loans...and all the other usual objects of the right-wing hatred: basically anyone who is peaceful, tolerant, loving, compassionate, sensible, and mentally stable.

Hoosiers are running Indiana; remind me to avoid the state altogether.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4


Friday, March 20, 2015

Florida’s Republican Governor Is Mute As Climate Change And Rising Oceans Threaten Florida’s Drinking Water

Remember how Nero fiddled while Rome burned? That’s pretty much what Republican climate change denier Rick Scott, Florida’s feckless and stupid governor, is doing as Floridians face imminent danger. You see, just as scientists predicted, the oceans are rising, and coastal areas like Florida are paying the consequences. In Broward County salt water has moved six miles inland. The main drinking water source in south Florida, the Biscayne Aquifer, may soon be contaminated, and as everyone knows, except maybe the idiotic right-wingers, sea water cannot be consumed.

What can be done about this? Well, Gov. Scott should be figuring out a way to increase the fresh water supply to Floridians before a critical shortage precipitates (bad word choice) a crisis. But Scott is not doing anything, because you see that would mean admitting that he and all other Republican climate change deniers have been wrong all along.

Eventually, the Republicans will be exposed for what they really are: self-centered, greedy, near-sighted, corporate apologists. But it might be too late by then, because Scott, and all his sociopathic colleagues, would rather see Florida and all the rest of America sink into the ocean before they would admit being wrong or corrupt or just plain dumb.

As salt water contamination increases, water filter plants, sewer collection systems, and waste water treatment plants will be compromised. I shudder to think what might happen to Scott if his citizens can’t drink, can’t dispose of their waster, and can’t get their sewers drained. They might come after Scott with torches and lanterns. Oops, fire might not be the best thing to carry next to gaseous sewers. Maybe they should just throw Scott onto the beaches that are no longer there, and see if he can swim to shore.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4


Monday, March 16, 2015

Army General Calls Republican Senator and His Nitwit Friends “Mutinous”

The galling treachery committed by the 47 traitorous Republican U.S. senators who undermined the President’s anti-nuclear negotiations with Iran has now been openly condemned by all with any sense, including high-ranking U.S. military personnel. The most senior of which, Major General Paul D. Eaton, spoke out this week and called the backstabbing gang of 47 mutineers.

Jonathan Capehart wrote this in the Washington Post: “The open letter to the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran signed by 47 senators and instigated by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) was a stunning breach of protocol. One so outrageous that my former colleagues at the New York Daily News dubbed the signers traitors. So, I turned to retired Major Gen. Paul D. Eaton for perspective. He wouldn’t say Cotton and Co. were ‘traitors.’ He had a better word. ‘While it is indeed a slap in the face of President Obama and an affront to the presidency, I’m not sure I would go that far, especially since Cotton is an Army veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I would use the word mutinous,’ said Eaton, whose long career includes training Iraqi forces from 2003 to 2004. He is now a senior adviser to VoteVets.org. ‘I do not believe these senators were trying to sell out America. I do believe they defied the chain of command in what could be construed as an illegal act.’ Eaton certainly had stern words for Cotton.

“‘What Senator Cotton did is a gross breach of discipline, and especially as a veteran of the Army, he should know better,’ Eaton told me. ‘I have no issue with Senator Cotton, or others, voicing their opinion in opposition to any deal to halt Iran’s nuclear progress. Speaking out on these issues is clearly part of his job. But to directly engage a foreign entity, in this way, undermining the strategy and work of our diplomats and our Commander in Chief, strains the very discipline and structure that our foreign relations depend on, to succeed.’ The consequences of Cotton’s missive were plainly apparent to Eaton. ‘The breach of discipline is extremely dangerous, because undermining our diplomatic efforts, at this moment, brings us another step closer to a very costly and perilous war with Iran,’ he said.”

For historical perspective on all this, imagine if Republicans had interfered with FDR's delicate detente with Winston Churchill prior to our entering World War II. We might all be under the rule of The Third Reich now. (Admittedly Republicans would probably be more comfortable in a fascist regime.) Or what if President Kennedy’s negotiations with Kruschev during the Cuban Missile Crisis had been undercut by treasonous Republican congressmen. We might have all have been incinerated in a nuclear holocaust.

Tom Cotton is your typical Republican flame thrower, who arose to his high public office by serving Obama meat to the wild animals of Arkansas. He somehow made it through Harvard using the government's money; now he votes against student loans. He's fanatically anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-US government, and pro-NRA. He thinks he can gain more notoriety and acclaim with the extreme right by his reckless and childish stunt. It has backfired though; now the country sees him for what he is: just another homophobic, misogynistic, hypocritical narcissist pandering to angry white, middle-aged southerners.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

NRA Suggests Assassination of Obama; Promotes Hate and Violence On Its Website

It is important to monitor the right-wing crazies in this country who want to foment sedition, incite treachery, and return America to the Wild West. At the forefront of the fringe movement is the National Rifle Association. I perused one of its websites today, and there is enough hate, treason, and threats of violence to scare the life out of anyone with sense.

To be precise, it was the NRA-ILA (Institute for Legislative Action), the NRA’s legislative lobbying arm, which got my attention. The lead article is headlined, “Obama’s Power Grab To Ban Ammo In Full Swing. Only You Can Stop Him!” What it’s really trying to say to its members is, “Hey, White People, The Black Man Is Trying To Take Away Your Weapons And The Only Way To Stop Him Is To Shoot Him.” Next to the headline is a picture of a rifle bullet aimed directly at the President.

Scroll down the page and the level of crazy gets ramped up. For instance, there’s this, “Wisconsin: Scott Walker signals support for eliminating 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases.” What can be more nutty and dangerous than eliminating the two-day wait for a handgun? Walker, an anti-union, anti-teacher, racist, homophobe (i.e., typical Republican) wants to allow a drunken Bubba, mad at Gomer for stealing his cousin away, to walk into a gun store, buy a weapon immediately and shoot Gomer on the spot. The current law allows Bubba to sober up and maybe rethink his options. Walker apparently thinks we are restricting Bubba’s right to blast Gomer to kingdom come. LET FREEDOM RING. Red-state Americans, fearful of everything and everyone that is smarter, more progressive, more compassionate and more sophisticated than they, don’t want anyone to get in the way of the only thing they have to compensate for their inferiorities: the gun. Many live in small towns in the Heartland where their neighbors have been all-white for centuries. They’ve never met an African-American; imagine how appalled they are that one is in the White House.

Another headline reads, “Iowa Lawmakers Want Right-To-Carry Privacy. Two state lawmakers are working behind the scenes at the Iowa Capitol in a bid to block the public from obtaining the names of people who hold permits to carry weapons and purchase handguns.” God forbid if the rest of us should know whom we have to fear. I thought concealed-carry gun owners were proud of their whackiness; I thought they wanted to instill fear in the rest of us. Turns out they’re just cowards, afraid to crawl out from under their rocks into the light of day.

Perhaps the most frightening headline is this: “Arkansas Bill To Allow Guns At Bars, Polling Places, And Capitol.” Makes perfect sense. Now Bubba doesn’t have to even bother with walking down the street to the local gun shop to buy his weapon. He can just bring it with him to the bar, get drunk, and kill Gomer without even leaving his stool. He can also intimidate blacks into staying away from polling places, so that America will never be stuck with an negro president again. Best of all, he can blast away at any legislator who dares to vote for reasonable gun control measures. Because there’s nothing more important than Bubba’s freedom to compensate for his lack of education, intelligence, and tolerance by threatening others, committing treason, and violating the freedom of others to live in a safe, compassionate, reasonable country.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

O’Reilly Lied About Being At The Scene of The Suicide of Oswald/Bush Pal George DeMohrenschildt

Media Matters, an internet news and political commentary website, is reporting that FOX News bully and gasbag Bill O’Reilly may have lied about his role in investigating the JFK Assassination. According to MM, “O'Reilly has repeatedly claimed he personally "heard" a shotgun blast that killed a figure in the investigation into President John F. Kennedy's assassination while reporting for a Dallas television station in 1977. O'Reilly's claim is implausible and contradicted by his former newsroom colleagues who denied the tale in interviews with Media Matters. A police report, contemporaneous reporting, and a congressional investigator who was probing Kennedy's death further undermine O'Reilly's story.

“George de Mohrenschildt was a Russian emigre who befriended Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and testified before the Warren Commission investigating the Kennedy assassination. On March 29, 1977, the same day he was contacted by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, he committed suicide at his daughter's home in Florida. At the time, O'Reilly was a reporter for Dallas' WFAA-TV who regularly reported on stories related to the Kennedy assassination.

“O'Reilly has bizarrely inserted himself into de Mohrenschildt's story, claiming in books and on Fox News that he was outside the house seeking to interview de Mohrenschiltd at the time of his death. O'Reilly is under heavy criticism and scrutiny for his false claims about his 1982 Falklands War reporting.”

What’s most shocking here is not that O’Reilly lied; he does that every night on FNC (Fascist News Channel). No, the real story is that people are not writing about the strange life and suspicious connections of the George DeMohrenschildt, who knew everyone connected with the plot and murder of a U.S. President. If a serious journalist would take an honest look at George DeMohrenschildt, he would uncover undeniable proof that DeMohrenschildt was an oil geologist and spy, closely aligned with the CIA, Texas oil, and the Bushes…three powerful entities who wanted Kennedy dead. DeMohrenschildt, incredibly, was Lee Harvey Oswald’s best friend in Dallas in 1962 and early 1963, and he was also closely acquainted with George H. W. Bush,

It seems appropriate to now reprint my blog from November 19, 2013:

“If you want to know how and why Lee Harvey Oswald was set up to take the fall in the assassination of JFK, and if you want to know who are the most likely suspects to have pulled off THE crime of the 20th century, all you have to do is trace the actions of one George DeMohrenschildt, CIA covert asset, oil geologist, Russian royalty, and international man of mystery. It can be said, with only the slightest bit of exaggeration, that DeMohrenschildt knew everyone involved in The Big Hit. In fact, for a time he was Lee Harvey Oswald’s best friend in Dallas, and he was also good friends with the Bush family. But I get ahead of myself. Let’s start in the beginning.

“Descended from Russian royalty, DeMohrenschildt came to the U.S. when his family was exiled during the Revolution. When the czar was kicked out, so were all his cronies—George’s family among them. Accordingly, DeMohrenschildt grew up with an abiding hatred of Communism, and early on associated himself with fringe right-wing groups and causes in America. And in the meantime he got himself an advanced degree in geology, with a specialty in underground exploration for oil. This made him a valuable asset to American oil millionaires who needed to know where to drill. It did not hurt that George’s politics were quite agreeable to oil tycoons like H.L. Hunt, Clint Murchison, Syd Richardson, and D.H. Byrd for whom he worked at various times.

“DeMohrenschildt made some advantageous contacts as a favorite of oil boomers. One of them was George H.W. Bush. It was through Bush that DeMohrenschildt became a CIA covert asset. Traveling the world to find oil gushers for the wealthy was good cover for a CIA asset to spy on friendlies and unfriendlies around the globe. Bush knew all the right people to get DeMohrenschildt hooked up with the spy agency. The Bushes and the Dulleses went way back, and Allen Dulles was CIA Director from 1953-1961. George Bush denies having known DeMohrenschildt more than just as a passing acquaintance, but there is ample evidence to prove otherwise.

“DeMohrenschildt was well acquainted with the Bush family. DeMohrenschildt's nephew, Eddie Hooker, had been George H.W. Bush's prep school roommate at Phillips Academy in Massachusetts. DeMohrenschildt and Hooker went into the oil business in West Texas in the 1950s, the same time that Bush was working there as a Dresser Industries employee. Speaking of Dresser Industries, it was closely aligned with a fashion/sportwear business in Dallas called Nardi’s. DeMohrenschildt’s wife Jeanne worked at Nardi’s in the 1950s alongside Abraham Zapruder. Yes, that Zapruder…the man who made the most infamous home movie of all time. While Jeanne designed the clothing, Abe cut the patterns. Think about that for a moment. The man who filmed the murder of JFK worked closely with the wife of the accused assassin’s best friend. My head hurts. And the only people in the world who think this was just an incredible coincidence worked for either the Warren Commission or the American media.

“The DeMohrenschildt family was steeped in an intelligence background. George’s older brother Dmitri worked, on many occasions, with Allen Dulles of the OSS/CIA. George himself knew, and did business with, the Rockefellers, George Brown of Brown and Root, and the William F. Buckley family which owned Pantepec Oil. When DeMohrenschildt moved to Dallas in 1952 he joined the Dallas Petroleum Club and the Council on Foreign Relations; both organizations’ memberships lists read like a who’s who of Kennedy assassination suspects. (Incredibly, DeMohrenschildt was also friends with the Bouviers, JFK’s in-laws, though this seems to be the one true coincidental connection in this matter.)

“One of DeMohrenschildt’s most dangerous CIA assignments (one that he certainly would have refused had he known the consequences) was ‘shepherding’ or ‘setting up’ Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas in 1962-63. DeMohrenschildt was chosen for the job because of his fluency in the Russian language and his knowledge of Russian culture. Oswald, having lived in Russia on a low-level, false-defector mission for the CIA, was naturally drawn to DeMohrenschildt’s acumen in all things Russian. DeMohrenschildt advised Oswald on all important matters before eventually passing off the patsy Oswald to Ruth Paine, another member of the White Russian community in Dallas with CIA ties. Paine let Marina and the Oswald kids board in her home, which Lee visited on weekends. Paine went out of her way to implicate Oswald in JFK’s murder.

"Meanwhile, DeMohrenschildt flew off to Haiti to do CIA business with dictator Papa Doc Duvalier. This move also distanced DeMohrenschildt from the events of November 22, 1963.

“Inevitably, DeMohrenschildt’s name came up in the Warren Commission hearings. If Oswald’s associates had not been questioned, the Commission would have been exposed as the sham that we now know it was. It was hardly a rough interrogation, though, as DeMohrenschildt was asked about his remarkable suntan and then dismissed. Warren Commission member Allen Dulles, who certainly knew DeMohrenschildt, cleverly steered the questioning away from the most dangerous areas.

“That would have been the end of it, and the trail would have gone cold, except that a couple of FBI memos addressing George H.W. Bush’s involvement in the aftermath of the assassination surfaced. The memos refer to “George Bush” of the CIA having reported on anti-Castro community activity post-assassination and having named a suspect to be questioned. But Bush has always denied being a CIA employee in 1963. Oops…Bush got caught practicing spycraft (plausible deniability for being in Dallas the day Kennedy was murdered and snooping on a group of likely suspects). Naturally serious investigators raised the suspiciousness of the Bush-DeMohrenschildt-Oswald connection.

“According to author Russ Baker (Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government, And The Hidden History Of The Last 50 Years), ‘…in the spring of 1963, immediately after his final communication with Oswald, DeMohrenschildt had traveled to New York and Washington for meetins with CIA and military intelligence officials. He even had met with a top aide to Vice President Johnson. And the [Warren] commission certainly did not learn that one meeting in New York included Thomas Devine, then Poppy Bush’s business colleague in Zapata offshore, who was doing double duty for the CIA.’

“After JFK's murder, Bush, for obvious reasons, claims to have barely known DeMohrenschildt, but DeMohrenschildt did not reciprocate these feelings. When he was being hounded about his associations with Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, DeMohrenschildt wrote a letter to his old pal Bush, who just happened to be head of the CIA at the time. The letter reeks of desperation. DeMohrenschildt claimed his phones were bugged and he was being followed by ‘vigilantes. "Either the FBI is involved in this or they do not want to accept my complaints; I tried to write stupidly and unsuccessfully about Lee Harvey Oswald,’ writes DeMohrenschildt. At the time, he knew he was in trouble because he was threatening to expose what he knew about JFK's assassination.

“Just a few months later DeMohrenschildt was found shot to death on the very day he was scheduled to be interviewed by the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1977. The death was ruled a ‘suicide by shotgun blast.’ Found in DeMohrenschildt's belongings was the address and phone number of ‘Bush, George H.W., 1412 W. Ohio also Zapata Petroleum, Midland, Texas.’ I guess Bush answered DeMohrenschildt's letter after all.

“It is noteworthy that DeMohrenschildt was acquainted with most, if not all, the major suspects in the JFK assassination. He befriended Dallas oil barons, he worked as a covert asset for the CIA, he set up Lee Harvey Oswald, and he even knew Lyndon Johnson.

“I am still trying to make a connection between DeMohrenschildt and the Joint Chiefs, specifically Curtis LeMay (This is not so far-fetched; recall DeMohrenschildt’s meeting with military intelligence officials in Washington in the spring of 1963.); then his association with the suspect list would be complete. In Watergate, Deep Throat advised Woodward to follow the money. In the JFK murder case, one need only follow George DeMohrenschildt to track the outline of the plot.”

O'Reilly really stepped in it when he claimed to hear DeMohrenschildt commit suicide, but the Bush family had better hope the scrutiny stops with BillO The Clown; because there's a lot of dirt to be excavated from under that rock. Any honest, hard-working investigative journalist would find the trail that leads to who killed Kennedy and why. Lucky for the CIA, Texas oil, and the Bushes there are few real journalists left in America.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4

Monday, February 23, 2015

Conversations With Conservatives, Or How I Learned To Have Fun With And Annoy The Right Wing

I have many conservative friends, and, prudently, when in their presence I avoid the usual dangerous topics when I can: religion, politics, history, taxes, etc. But every now and then a polemic discussion rears its inevitable head, and I can't fight back the urge to inject my subversive, sarcastic, and eristic words. Such an occasion happened recently. I have here reconstructed an old conversation and combined it with new material derived from a chance meeting with the conservative just last week:

CONSERVATIVE: I know you don't believe that Jesus Christ is your Lord and personal savior.

ME: Well...now that you mention it. The rationalist in me wants to parse that sentence. The phrase "My Lord and personal savior" sounds threatening. Like I'd better believe or else. As if someone is trying to control my thoughts and actions...and if I do not conform (meaning blindly believe that there is an all-powerful white man in the sky waiting to condemn me or save me based on someone's interpretation of a centuries-old book), there will be literally hell to pay.

CONSERVATIVE: Since when is faith a bad thing?

ME: When blind faith shuts down reason, overrides temperance, denies the power of the intellect, and incites intolerance and violence, then it is a bad thing.

CONSERVATIVE: My Christian beliefs forbid me from practicing hate.

ME: Yet you listen to Rush Limbaugh every day--the right wing's high minister of hate.

CONSERVATIVE: That's politics, not religion. Rush is merely pointing out how your side is harming democracy by enforcing a socialist agenda on unwilling citizens.

ME: From my reading of the Bible, Jesus was the most prominent socialist in history. Didn't he say that we will be judged by how we treat the least among us? Didn't he drive the moneychangers from the temple? Didn't he say that it will be harder for a rich man to enter His Kingdom than...

CONSERVATIVE: (Clearly flustered) Jesus wants us to be free. He loves America, and he blesses every day with His riches.

ME: But America is quickly becoming a third-world Republic in the sense that the wealth inequity gap is widening dramatically. The poor are getting poorer and the rich richer.

CONSERVATIVE: Every man--regardless of race, status or creed--has the opportunity to succeed and become rich in America.

ME: Not true. If that were so, capitalism would cease to exist, because the capitalist system requires that there be a few at the top and many at the bottom. The factory owner must have hundreds, maybe thousands, of factory laborers to make his enterprise profitable. And when it does become profitable, he keeps the lion's share of profit for himself. If we had all kings and no peons, capitalism would cease to exist.

CONSERVATIVE: You're perverting the intent of democracy and capitalism.

ME: They are not the same thing. You know what Louis Brandeis said? "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have all wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, but we can't have both."

CONSERVATIVE: Who's Louis Brandeis? One of your atheist, pinko icons?

ME: Supreme Court Justice in the 1920s.

CONSERVATIVE: Well, he's full of crap.

ME: How about James Madison, then? You right-wingers are fond of him, right? He said, "History records that moneychangers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments." That makes America a government of the rich, by the wealthy, and for the few.

CONSERVATIVE: Only Jesus can save heathens like you; I am going to pray for your salvation.

ME: Don't bother. If Heaven is anything like America, I'll pass. I want to go to Paradise. A place where everyone has his own room in the mansion. A place where the First shall be Last and the Last shall be first. A place where there is no suffering. A place where love and peace reign. A place where no man can oppress another. A place where material wealth and power do not matter. Hey wait...that is the Heaven promised us in the Bible. On second thought, go ahead and pray for my soul.

CONSERVATIVE: Now you're being sarcastic.

ME: I'm not. And while you're at it, pray for President Obama also. I know you hate him, but aren't you bound by your faith to love your enemies.

CONSERVATIVE: He's a socialist. I can't save socialists.

ME: But so was Jesus.

CONSERVATIVE: You no doubt have Scripture which proves that?

I pulled out my handy-dandy list of Bible passages which contain The Lord's love of socialism.

ME: Here's one of my favorites. Jesus said, "Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need."

CONSERVATIVE: You cherry-picked one passage to suit your politics.

ME: Oh, but there's much more. Jesus says to the blessed, "...take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in (today, right-wing Christians would shoot Jesus as a home invader), I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you as a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The Lord will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine you did for me.'"

The conservative nervously looked at his watch.

CONSERVATIVE: Hey, look at that. I'm late for Bible study. Today we're discussing Huckabee's new book, "Guns, Grits, and God." I gotta go.

ME: Wait. I have more. From the book of Matthew, "You cannot serve both God and money." And here's one from Luke, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven."

The conservative put his earmuffs on so he couldn't hear me any more. He roared off in his pick-up with the gun rack in the back window. I giggled at his bumper sticker which read, "Jesus hates Obama and Socialists."

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4.

[This post is submitted in loving memory of my brother John Fitzgerald Fleming. Named for JFK, John was an author, scholar, linguist, and dog lover. He adored his nieces and nephews. I speak for all those who loved him and never got the chance to say good-bye. We will see you again; may you rest in peace.]