Saturday, November 16, 2013

JFK, Obama And Me

We are just a week away from the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination. I cannot tell you how many lost weekends I have devoted to a fruitless pursuit of the real story. Each time I thought I had an explanation another plausible story would surface. The JFK assassination is singularly weird. The only thing as strange as the mysterious death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy is the mysterious life of Barack Hussein Obama.

The JFK Assassination is more than an elaborate game of Clue (I say Oswald did it in the Book Depository using a Mannlicher-Carcano...) It provides a fertile laboratory for the study of belief formulation. People who are neither well versed in orthodoxy or contra-orthodoxy nonetheless hold strong opinions about the orthodox narrative as well as the contra-orthodox narratives. Frustrating to scholars, a lot of pundits judge the alternative theories collectively. Oliver Stone, Woody's dad, Fidel, the Mob. It's all one chorus and we got cotton on our ears.

It's so easy to lose sight of the human element. John Kennedy--father, husband, brother, son, friend and president--was murdered. There are multiple efforts to shape arguments, if not rewrite history to claim JFK's memory. The saga is burdened by the complexity of character. My assessment is that JFK was a flawed man but an excellent president. He is possibly our best president.

JFK is also an atypical Kennedy in most respects. For one thing, he was likable. Philosophically, he was worlds apart from his father or brother Ted or any kinfolk of the next generation. Yes, he was a womanizer but his were not normal temptations. Most men take the high road but most men are not being pursued by Marilyn Monroe or Angie Dickinson or Judith Campbell. It's easy to forsake all others when one's only prospect is the dickefrau from the truck stop.

Years ago I read Carl Oglesby's "The Yankee and Cowboy War." Oglesby came out of the radical left but he left most of his prejudices out of the book. This is before we entered the era of hyper-politics when one could read a man's treatise on a given subject and never learn the author's opinions on gay marriage or recycling or the nicknames of sports franchises.

Oglesby's premise is that America was being fought over by two cartels, the Yankees and the Cowboys. Forget political parties. These guys jockey for control of both. The divisions are partly geographical but not entirely so. It's David Rockefeller and his horses and men versus the lesser organized Howard Hughes posse. Cut to the chase: the Cowboys killed JFK.

I had accepted the Cowboy explanation even though it left a lot of holes to fill in. Later, I would come to believe that it was the Mafia, not the Cowboys who killed JFK. Oliver Stone took the Oglesby template and loaded it with his own figurines. Personally, politically and artistically, I loathe Oliver Stone and I had abandoned the Cowboy Theorem (Stone converted it into a military-industrial theorem) for the Marcello/Trafficante Theorem. With those differences, you might think that I hated "JFK." No. "JFK" is the only Stone movie I like. It's a compelling movie.

The FBI recorded Carlos Marcello admitting to killing Kennedy. There are tape recording that implicate Santos Trafficante in a conspiracy to kill Kennedy in Florida. After Trafficante went to mob heaven, his former consigliore implicated him in the murder. Joe Kennedy's mob ties had been greatly understated. And the ribbon on the package: Jack Ruby did indeed have significant ties to organized crime and was visited by two subordinates of Carlos Marcello while incarcerated. Guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt? No. A preponderance of evidence? In this juror's opinion, yes.

If I had more time I would continue to read up on the JFK assassination. Constraints what they be, I had to let it go. But this story just won't quit. Hardly a year goes by when fingers point in yet another direction. A prominent lawyer, Barr McClellan (father of George Bush's press secretary, Scott McClellan) claims LBJ orchestrated the assassination. E. Howard Hunt makes a deathbed confession. Someone implicates Nixon. A strong case for Fidel Castro is promoted. That Grassy Knoll will only hold so many assassins, folks.

Which brings us to Barack Obama. Barry was only three months old when the president was shot. Can't hang this one on him. But the story of Obama's life is stranger than Kennedy's death. A murder not solved to the public's satisfaction? Happens on a fairly frequent basis. An unvetted, mystery man in the White House for five years and counting? There is no precedent. Stranger yet, about half of the country has zero curiosity about the only man in the White House who could never receive a security clearance.

A man graduates from an Ivy League college and none of his classmates had ever seen him. One hundred and forty political science students. African American men are about seven per cent of the US population. On average, there would be about ten African American students in a class that size. Barack Obama is tall and handsome and loves to be the center of attention. Apparently, he mailed it in. Literally.

The Invisible Man at Columbia is not the only mystery concerning Barack Obama. He has spawned an entire industry devoted to solving his many riddles. The bigger mystery is why does at least half the population of America have zero curiosity about the Enigma-In-Chief?

According to Rasmussen, about 45% of likely voters approve of Barack Obama's job performance. That is inexplicable. I understand why Rahm Emanuel approves of Barack Obama. I understand why John Corzine approves of Barack Obama. I understand why Jeffrey Immelt approves of Barack Obama. But just about everyone else? Every conceivable demographic from Millenials to Seniors to African Americans to Californians, union workers, non-union workers, you name it, has fared poorly under Barack Obama. Why then, the unwavering support?

I said earlier that if I had more time I would read up on the JFK assassination. Before I did that I would read up on ELF waves, HAARP, techniques of mind control, techniques of brainwashing, microwavable brain signals, Coast to Coast radio guests, anything, anything, anything at all that mind shed light on the The Great Bamboozle. I hope we will be more successful solving the mysteries of Barack Obama's life than we were at solving the mysteries of JFK's death. We can dream, can't we?

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