Tuesday, April 29, 2014

British Writer Reviews The President's Mortician

Several weeks ago I received notice from my publisher that a British journalist was trying to track me down. His name is Garrick Alder, and he writes for a UK publication called Lobster. It appears quarterly and is billed as a on-line magazine which deals with "politics, parapolitics, and history." In addition to book reviews, there are articles about conspiracy theories, economics, global politics, and contemporary history. My book caught Alder's eye, and the subject matter has stimulated many correspondences between us. His review appeared yesterday, and I have posted it in full below:

"The publication of Tim Fleming’s book marks, to my
knowledge, the first real attempt to (forgive the phrase) put
flesh on the biographical bones of John Melvin Liggett, a
shadowy character whose apparent connections to the JFK
assassination are discussed in my own ‘Doubles and
Disinformation’ in this issue of Lobster.

"There is good news and bad news about this book. The
bad news is that, despite the author’s first-hand research into
Liggett’s life, his book is so heavily fictionalised as to count as
a novel. The good news is that it’s actually well worth buying
and reading despite this. Fleming is a devoted JFK researcher
and writer, and runs a worthwhile blog1 about US politics from
a leftist perspective in general and the JFK killing in particular.

"The narrative of The President’s Mortician is compelling
and convincingly unpredictable, despite being entirely based
on a completely bogus ‘McGuffin’ (the murder of a fictional
character by the real-life Liggett and the characters’ attempts
to solve the case). Of particular interest to researchers will be
the ‘book within the book’ setting out one of the characters’
interpretation of the assassination and its consequences. It
came as little surprise to me when Mr Fleming confirmed in an
e-mail conversation that this metatext was an excerpt from his
own unpublished writing, and I recommend that he pursues
finding a publisher for it. He also told me that he had originally
planned a non-fiction biography of Liggett. This is maddening
(to me, at least) because it means that we are left to sift
through a cast of fictional, composite and real characters and
events with no idea of which is which. For instance: Liggett’s
youthful participation in David Ferrie’s Civil Air Patrol outfit and
his recruitment by the CIA therefrom. This is plainly of key
importance to understanding Liggett’s life but I have no idea
whether it’s real or pretend. Mr Fleming’s characters are all
equally well-drawn and rounded, making it even more difficult
(although I have a strong suspicion that the wholly-fictitious
characters are the ones with a noticeable tendency to ‘infodump’
in order to move the plot along in leaps and bounds).

"And some of his work is plainly a synthesis of his own reading
and beliefs. For example, one character anachronistically
provides an unattributed précis of David Lifton’s Best Evidence,
fifteen years before it was published.

"Mr Fleming has expressed his hope that The President’s
Mortician will stimulate others to carry out their own research.
In the sense that it tantalised me so much that I want to pick
up the phone and hammer the Internet until I have tracked
down his primary sources (whom he declined to identify in any
way) and bled them dry of information, he can count his hopes
fulfilled. Others will perhaps be more sanguine about the
matter: perhaps, at this distance, a novelist has more hope of
untangling Liggett’s life than anyone else.

"Liggett himself moves through the novel like a predatory
fish in a muddy river, glimpsed here and there as the action
unfolds, but rarely surfacing. The key points of interest to
researchers are the two chapters which describe Liggett’s
alteration of JFK’s body and the way in which a second body
was used as a ‘stand-in’ for the dead President while
Kennedy’s real body was doctored. Mr Fleming plainly knows
his stuff on the real-life witnesses and events relating to JFK’s
post-mortem handling and manages to weave them into a
coherent narrative.

"While by no means an expert on this aspect of the
assassination, I found Mr Fleming’s portrayal of proceedings
very interesting indeed and (as far as I can ascertain without
in-depth research) somewhat credible. For instance the
photographer at JFK’s autopsy told the Assassination Records
Review Board that the pictures she took were not the ones
later released by the National Archives and that Kennedy’s
body had been in a very different state when she saw and
photographed it. I asked Mr Fleming whether his
reconstruction of the events of that night was based on
evidence or imagination. As I had anticipated, he did not
respond to this question, and I respect his choice to remain
silent on the matter. I therefore conclude that the ‘body
alteration’ narrative is a mixture of both fact and fiction – and
none the worse for that. I enjoyed it so much that I read the
whole thing in one sitting. Researchers will find this book at
best a thought-provoking and stimulating read and at worst a
frustrating hybrid of truth and fiction. Either way, I would say
that it deserves to be read by anyone interested in this aspect
of the assassination controversy."

--Garrick Alder

Read more at http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/dp/098882907X

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Bundy Champion Rand Paul Now Exposed For What He Really Is

All those right-wing politicians and FNC (Fascist News Channel) commentators who sang the praises of racist Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy have now been forced to eat crow. How do right-wing idiots eat crow? Like cowards. They issue statements (not in person, of course, because they can’t face tough questions) which mildly and obtusely distance themselves from talk like “I know this about theNegro…they was better off during slavery. They didn’t get no more freedom.”

The grammar is almost as horrifying as the pro-slavery stance. And all right wingers who came to Bundy’s defense should forever wear the stench of his ignorance and hate. That means you, Sean Hannity. How did Hannity handle Bundy’s remarks? He simply ignored them. Now Hannity has never heard of Cliven Bundy. He’s no longer the gun-toting hero of the Old West, shooting it out for the glory of Old Glory. He’s persona non grata now. But we should never let Hannity off the hook for this. He should be forever linked to right-wing hate and racism.

Same goes for Rand Paul. Paul call himself a Libertarian, and now we know what a Libertarian really is: a gussied up right-wing extremist. Libertarianism has always been nothing more than Fascism with a facelift anyway, a system that promotes the absolute reign of corporations and free- market oppression of the poor. And a disdain for minorities. Paul was out front with Bundy before Cliven opened his racist yap. Now Paul can’t be bothered with him. But Paul has given his opponents ammunition. They can associate Paul with Bundy forever. I can see the campaign ads now—Paul praising Bundy, and quick cut to Bundy telling us his views on the Negro.

Bundy and his militia crazies should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. They are welfare cheats who have grazed cattle at the taxpayers’ expense long enough. It’s time for Bundy to stop sucking at the government’s teat and looking for a handout. You would think right-wing politicians and media would excoriate welfare queens like Bundy. I guess their hypocrisy knows no bounds.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Democracy Is Dead According To New Study

The signs are all around us. America is becoming a plutocracy. The rich get richer and have more influence over those who govern. That's a nice way of seeing that politicians, judges and media are becoming like hookers. They are for sale, and the johns are billionaires like David Koch and Sheldon Adelson. Even the Supreme Court no longer looks out for the greater good. Its recent decisions make it easier for money to corrupt the political process. What does it mean for democracy? It is on its death bed, according to a study released by Princeton University.

Political science researchers and academicians Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page used data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002 to conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.

"The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy," they write, "while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence."

As one illustration, Gilens and Page compare the political preferences of Americans at the 50th income percentile to preferences of Americans at the 90th percentile as well as major lobbying or business groups. They find that the government--whether Republican or Democratic—-more often follows the preferences of the latter group rather than the first.

If we stay on the present course, all of America--its institutions, its government agencies, its land, its telecommunication companies, its media outlets, its transportation modes, its very essence--will be controlled by a few wealthy elites, to whom we will all be beholden. What kind of a nation would you call that? Fascism.

Jack Ruby predicted this in 1964 when he was asked who was behind the JFK assassination and why it took place. He uttered the now frighteningly prescient words, "So that a whole new form of government will take over America."


Thursday, April 24, 2014

New Darling Of The Right, Cliven Bundy, Exposes Himself As A Racist

Here in the St. Louis area we have a name for ignorant, backwards, illiterate, hillbilly racists. We call them "hoosiers"; no, not necessarily Indiana natives, but people who have cars in their yards and might be missing a few teeth. The wheel is still spinning in their heads, but the hamster has died. They use bad grammar, they hate Obama, they want to end welfare (except for the government handouts they receive), and they gripe about "nigras." Now we know Bundy (no, not Ted Bundy, though he was infamously a Republican too), the deadbeat Nevada farmer on government subsidies and the newly adopted hero of FOX News commentators, is a good ol' fashioned hoosier. What he said yesterday earned him that sobriquet. Here's what he said:

"I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro...because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I've often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn't get no more freedom. They got less freedom."

I read this aloud to my wife, and she gasped. Then we were quiet a moment and reflected on the horror that there are millions just like him out there, wandering the villages of America, armed to the teeth, spouting hatred, and waiting for the overthrow of the American government. Their twisted logic, regressive politics, and open hatred would be funny if they were not so dangerous. And they admire Cliven Bundy for his views and his actions.

If you haven't heard, Bundy for years has grazed his cattle on government property. When the government took a stand, Bundy forced an armed standoff. His racist Montana neighbors rushed to the scene, guns drawn, and, to avoid a firefight, government agents backed down. Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly proclaimed Bundy a hero. I wonder how FOX News will sheepishly back away from Bundy's latest comments.

The incident speaks to a larger conflagration that plays out in the right-wing extremist's head: a new Civil War. They want to bring down the government, by force if necessary. We dismiss the innate hypocrisies of their fantasies at our own risk. While waving the flag they tell us that America's government is the enemy; while decrying the state's handout, they have no problem with the dole they get; while making over the Founders as gun-toting, lawless fanatics, they ignore the fact that Washington put down insurrectionists who failed to pay taxes. Forget all that. What should worry us is that they want to kill all those whom they perceive as internal enemies--liberals, blacks, females, Latinos, immigrants, Democrats...you know, the majority of us.

Georgia just enacted laws which would allow guns in churches, ballparks, airports, schools and taverns. Hoosiers can be harmless when they are unarmed. But this is America in the 21st century, and these Bundyites are violent sociopaths who are packing heat. They may not be as smart as us, as evolved as us, or as democratic as us, or read and write as well we do, but they'd like to make up for their inferiorities by killing us. And someday they just might organize a militia which will do just that.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why Are They Still Lying To Us About JFK's Death? A Minister Tells Us Why

Of all the great JFK assassination books published last year (to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the assassination), one of the best was written by a Methodist minister named Dr. Lance Moore. Dr. Moore's book, "Killing JFK: 50 Years, 50 Lies--From the Warren Commission to Bill O'Reilly, A History of Deceit in the Kennedy Assassination," is meticulously researched, eloquently stated, and worthy of serious consideration. Yet you have probably never heard of Dr. Moore or his book. That's because the media blackout of all voices critical of the official version (read establishment lies)of the assassination have stifled the purveyors of historical truth. I sympathize with Dr. Moore and other JFK authors/researchers, because I too have been denied access to mainstream media outlets (with the notable exception of my hometown St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Despite this, 75% of Americans know we are being fed a pack of lies by NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and all other corporate-owned conglomerates who have had a long, cozy relationship with the CIA.

In a piece written for OpEd News Dr. Moore condemns the unbalanced media and questions the purpose of continuing the cover-up a half-century after the event. He writes:

"A few days after the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, my wife and I chatted with a new acquaintance in an upscale bar in D.C., a spot frequented by Congressmen. Leaning toward us across the table, a dapperly-dressed man confirmed my suspicions about the CIA and a certain magazine. His wife, he confided, works for the internationally-prestigious magazine, and she had told him the CIA frequented her workplace to spy on a nearby embassy--with full cooperation by her employers. I found her story credible, in part because it is now well-established that the CIA infiltrated and influenced a long list of newspapers and magazines.1 Initially, I had been surprised that the magazine in question, an organization with great credibility in the academic community, risked their reputation to broadcast blatant lies about the JFK shooting. Why fib about something that happened half-a-century ago? The answer is astounding: the CIA --fifty years on--still believes it cannot afford the hit to its credibility... it refuses to admit that Lee Harvey Oswald was a company man. And it still has a vise-like grip on the mainstream media.

I am not a kook. Several parchments from prestigious institutions hang on my wall to assure me that I'm not crazy. I'm not a 911 'Truther' or a 'Man didn't land on the moon' conspiracy nut. Yet, when I began promoting my book about the JFK assassination, I observed some curious things. Major news outlets circled their wagons around the 'official' government story that Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone nut, nixing any dissenting opinions. Pro-Warren Commission, pro-lone-gunman pundits (a dying breed) were trotted out on CBS, ABC and even PBS. Credible experts who offer proof of government complicity were disinvited. Others in the assassination-research community told me similar stories of how they had been scheduled for cable news/network appearances, but were cancelled at the last minute--without explanation. Even my local city newspaper, which has featured my writing on other topics, refused to print a rebuttal I had written to counter a 'lone-gunman did it' fluff-piece they ran in November 2013.

I have been harassed. Nasty, over-the-top attacks were posted on the Amazon review page of my JFK book (despite four and five star reviews by 95% of readers). Correspondence between myself and Vince Palamara (a Secret Service expert who has been featured on C-SPAN, the History Channel, etc.) was sliced open and contents stolen, apparently with the blessing of the U.S. Postal Service.2 At the 50th anniversary event in Dealey Plaza November 22nd, an ABC-TV cameraman pulled out his iPhone and snapped a picture of my book's cover, saying he was personally interested in it... but made it clear his network was not. A CBS reporter and his cameraman interviewed me, but the footage never aired. At the end of the day, outside the Dallas JFK museum in the Texas School Book Depository, I was assaulted--choked without any provocation--by the bodyguard of former Secret Service Agent Clint Hill, as I tried to shake hands with Hill after his book-signing.3 These are things happening now, not 50 years ago.

But let's back up and look at the long media history. The few times the networks dared examine the topic, the reporting was one-sided. CBS, for example, gave extended screen-time to so-called "conspiracy debunker" Gerald Posner, but allowed only short, benign snippets from lone-gunman critics like Dr. Cyril Wecht (and Dr. Wecht is a top-notch forensic scientist; Posner is not). I challenge doubters to put a stopwatch on any major network's coverage of the JFK assassination and see how much time is afforded the debunkers vs. the conspiracy 'nuts.' Though I am personally convinced that the CIA helped kill Kennedy, I concede there are two sides to this debate. So, mainstream media, give us both sides! The one-sided press coverage should scare the hell out of us."

You can read the full article on opednews.com


Thursday, April 10, 2014

How Republican Sociopaths Have Ruined America

Much of what ails society today is the proliferation of sociopaths. I’m not just talking about hardened criminals either; sociopaths are everywhere, in all walks of life. In fact, the traits they possess are the very traits which impel one to succeed and rise to positions of power in a capitalistic society. CEOs, Wall Street billionaires, politicians, military chiefs, intelligence operatives, and right-wing talking heads are among those who have used their sociopathological personality disorders to rule America.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could identify a sociopath before he/she comes to power? Think of how much better our lives and our country would be if only we knew who the conscienceless bastards really were before we voted for them, came under their employ, listened to their cons, fell prey to their manipulation. The problem is, they are not easily identified because they wear masks. They try to fit in by mimicking normal behavior in public. Some are even charming. They seduce us with their outward appearance of normalcy, but inside they are godless devils bent on perverting the greater good for their own means.

In the past 35 years America has slowly been transformed from a nation of common purpose to a nation of the rich, by wealthy, and for the sociopathic few. That’s because many of the people in power (mostly Republicans) have been crass opportunists concerned with self- advancement at the expense of the greater good. In the age of Reagan, the self-centeredness was heightened to a virtue. The 1980s gave rise to a rogue’s gallery of Gordon Gekkos and their “greed is good” philosophy. It wasn’t just Reagan and his policies though, it was the sociopaths he ushered into public service—the Bushes, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Oliver North, William Casey and a whole band of despicable criminals. The country became more selfish, less communal, and more cynical. It was then that we started letting the Almighty buck rule all facets of American life. The more money you had, the more admired you were. Fuck generosity and compassion for the less fortunate.

Since then, sociopaths have started illicit wars, drained the national treasury, raped Mother Nature, ruined the climate, and given rise to Rush Limbaugh, FOX News, Newt Gingrich, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, et al. There seem to be more sociopaths than human beings in positions of power. Maybe that was the whole point. Now the Extreme Court (uh..er…Supreme Court) has gotten in on the act, by making it easier for sociopathic billionaires to control (read subvert) the democratic process. Smarmy Vegas casino operators (like Shel Adelson) and fascist industrialists (like the Koch brothers) have far more say in how our government operates than 99% of us.

As a public service then, I am herewith giving you tips on how to spot a sociopath. If you recognize them in someone, alert authorities and resist the urge to succumb to their wiles.

Traits of a Sociopath (based on the work of psychologists Robert Hare): While some experts believe that sociopathy has a genetic origin, Hare believed that a sociopath’s behavior “is shaped by social forces and is the result of a dysfunctional environment.” Hare formed a list of traits common to sociopaths. Here are the most prevalent:

--Sociopaths are manipulative and very skilled at taking advantage of the good intentions of others . Allen Dulles, former CIA chief, is a good example. He was appointed by President Eisenhower in 1953 after promising Ike that the CIA could avoid WWIII by overthrowing socialist and communist countries around the globe via bloodless coups. Eisenhower, a decent man shaken by the horrors of the second World War, turned over foreign policy to Allen and his brother Foster. The Dulles brothers, sociopaths of the worst kind, turned America into quasi-fascist Orwellian state by using their enormous power to control the media, murder innocent citizens, evoke hatred of America around the globe, and cover up the assassination of JFK. All the while, the Dulleses were enriching themselves and their corporate partners—the Forbeses, the Browns, the Rockefellers, the DuPonts, the Hunts—the oldest, richest families in the country. And Kennedy haters all.

--They have a grandiose sense of self; they think they are better than everyone else, and if they have more money or power than others they use this to their constant advantage. Moreover, the fact that a sociopath may be wealthier than others or in a position of power over others merely confirms in the sociopath’s mind that he/she is better than others. In the modern age, who feels more entitled than the richest among us? The Koch brothers, desperately trying to buy the government, runs roughshod over the poor, the elderly, minorities, and social safety nets. They care only their own profits. We should have carved a big “S” in their foreheads at birth, just as Brad Pitt marked Christoph Waltz with a swastika in “Inglourious Basterds.” Our lives would be much better if we knew whom we were dealing with upfront.

--They are pathological liars; when they are committing acts that harm the greater good of society, they never tell the truth, even if they are caught in a lie. To this day, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and their lackeys still deny that the Iraq war was about oil, despite all evidence to the contrary.

--They have no remorse or guilt, regardless of how heinous their actions are. When recently asked if he would do anything differently, if he had to do it all over again, Cheney responded, “No.”

--They lack empathy and are callous in their treatment of others. Mitt Romney dismissed 47% of the country with one glib comment.

--They are contemptuous of those who seek to understand them. One of Allen Dulles’s protégés, Frank Wisner, head of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird in the 1950s, once famously bragged, “The press claims to be free and open in America. But they are nothing but my personal puppets. I can pull any string I want and they will follow along.”

--They do not perceive that anything is wrong with them. Even if they are proven wrong, and even if all about them acknowledge their wrongdoing, the sociopath will never admit to wrongdoing. See Dick Cheney quote above.

--They are authoritarians; in many cases, they were raised in authoritarian homes where the appearance of uniformity and conformity far outweighed love, compassion, empathy, and charity as laudable qualities. Henry Kissinger once said of Richard Nixon (a raging sociopath), “Imagine what he could have been if anyone had ever loved him.”

--They are secretive; at all costs they strive to keep their true behaviors and thoughts hidden. Allen and Foster Dulles, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush, Richard Nixon, and Oliver North were nothing if not secretive.

--They are paranoid. Can you imagine anyone more paranoid than Dick Nixon?

--They diligently present a “normal” outward appearance when engaging others. This is what confounds us about all sociopaths. Usually we don’t unmask them until it is too late.

--They experience pleasure from enslaving their victims. And all people they encounter are potential victims, even loved ones. “Loved ones” is a misnomer, because sociopaths are incapable of love. Again, Dick Cheney is the perfect example of someone who seemed to derive pleasure from inflicting pain. Witness the detainees at Guantanamo. Cheney does not consider what he did torture, yet a 600-page nonpartisan report says he did exactly that.

--When they collaborate, they feed off one another, and their actions become even more diabolical. No better example of this than the Cheney-Rumsfeld partnerships during the two Bush presidencies.