Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Existing in New York City: The Day of JFK's Assassination

Foto by tgw, New York City, November 2013
Say Goodbye to: Jim Hall, master of the guitar, esp. the jazz guitar.  I first heard him with Jimmy Guiffre doing "The Train and the River" and then so great on Sonny Rollins' "The Bridge." Jim Hall, 83, American jazz guitarist, composer and arranger.
Say Goodbye to: Chuck Willis: Willis wrote one of my fav tunes (I've sung it many times in public) with the line: "I feel so bad, like a ballgame on a rainy day." Chick Willis, 79, American blues singer, cancer.
Say Goodbye to: Chico Hamilton, one of the great jazz drummers and ensemble innovators.  Chico introduced me to Eric Dolphy. Chico Hamilton, 92, American jazz drummer.
One Day in Dallas
It's hard to believe that day was 50 years ago.  A lot of the characters in my life at that time are now gone.  Bobolink Bob, for instance, who while standing at one of the Dallas County Juvenile Home's floor-to-ceiling staff room windows that overlooked the Trade Mart where President John F. Kennedy was to speak that noon was pretending to be popping off rifle shots when I arrived for work that November morning.  "What the hell are you doin', Bobolink?" I asked curiously as I rushed to the staff room coffee pot to get my first cup of coffee of the day.  "Shootin' JFK," Bob said.  "He'll be right down there at the Trade Mart.  Be easy to hit him from here."

Bobolink Bob's pretending didn't bother me.  Though I was aware Kennedy was coming from Fort Worth to Dallas that day and there was going to be a big motorcade from Love Field to downtown Dallas before he ended up at the Trade Mart to make his speech, I divorced myself from the proceedings because it was requisition day at the Juvenile Home and I was the office manager with that budget-limited burden hanging over my head.

It was a nice day.  Sunny.  Clear.  And I was feeling my testosterone-primed oats because my bride to be and I were throwing a big party that night at her apartment out in Arlington where she was a sophomore at Arlington State College (now the University of Texas at Arlington).

Since I had moved to Dallas about all I ever thought about was partying.  Partying in Dallas at that time was an almost nightly affair and the parties were well attended and the booze flowed liberally and the meals were gargantuan and each party introduced me to a new bevy of absolutely beautiful and free-spirited women and women were my hobby.  I was fresh out of the U.S. Army, in tiptop shape, and my hair was golden blonde and thick and I drove an MGA1600 and I was eligible and sexually naive enough to be the target of both single and married babes who flocked to these parties.  Yes, I was supposed to be marrying a preacher's daughter who was seven years younger than I was and who was gorgeous and voluptuous and extra-attractive since she was underage and she knew I wasn't serious about marriage; in fact, I railed boisterously against marriage.  I felt marriage to be not only confining but also in a political sense simply a way for the state to glean another tax.  And since I also proudly proclaimed myself a full-blown atheist, marriage in a church under the auspices of a reverend, priest, or rabbi to me was ridiculous.

As far as JFK went, I didn't trust him, though my bride to be was a member of the Kennedy-for-President Club at Arlington State and she was also a worker for the Connelly for Governor campaign and as such was also doing campaign work for Kennedy and the Democratic Party.  There was a huge Kennedy cult in all the colleges in that part of Texas.  Young people loved the guy because he was young and well educated and rich and slick and so handsome and witty and to them he was promising whereas all presidents before him, in particular Eisenhower and Truman were old duffers who catered to the Power Elite while demanding young people become stooges of their elders, a state from which my generation was trying to escape.  We were in the midst of rebelling against our elders, breaking away from the Protestant Ethic and trying to fly free in skies of our own imaginations.  We were taking over the culture, forming our own culture.  Revolutionizing art via Pollack, de Koonig, Warhol; literature/poetry through Ginsberg, Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, diPrima; music through Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Parker, Jr., Stan Kenton, rhythm and blues, and eventually rock and roll; and if we listened to classical music, we listened to John Cage, Steve Reich, Terry C. Riley, and electronic music.  We smoked pot.  We advocated free love.  We saw nothing wrong with abortion.  We accepted homosexuality.  So Kennedy was more our speed than the mean countenanced Tricky Dick Nixon.  The Republicans still even in those days stood for the obsolescent.  They stood for the Power Elite.  Our elders.  They were the war and money party; they represented the laissez faire. We went to college to study the fine arts, to study radical psychology and sociology, to get a liberal arts education.  When I started college, Economics was still in the Social Science Department.  We were highly critical of the School of Business.  We put the SoB down by chanting "Live and Play With a BBA."  The intellectuals were in the Liberal Arts; the dumbells (spoiled rich brats and athletes) were in the SoB, a notch below a Phys Ed. degree.

Kennedy and Jackie O symbolized true progressivism to young people in those days.

When news came of the president's being shot got to us, we were stunned, unable to believe what we had been joking about had actually happened.   After word of the president's being shot, I was ordered by my boss to take a young man, who being involved in a fight in our gym had had his front upper teeth knocked up into his nostrils and was suffering quite some pain, to Parkland Hospital, which was literally just walkable yards up an alleyway from the Juvenile Home facilities on Harry Hines Boulevard.  By the time I got this kid up to Parkland, the area around the Emergency Room was cordoned off by gaggles of Dallas police and Secret Service who were warding off hundreds of curious onlookers.  I wasn't aware that they had taken JFK to Parkland but when I got up close to the area, I saw the presidential limo (ironically, President Eisenhower had had that limo fitted with a bullet-proof glass top that it was said JFK made them take it off for his tour of Texas).  Since I carried a Deputy Sheriff badge due to my working in a Dallas County incarceration facility (the Juvenile Home was a jail), I was able to get into the Emergency Room with my suffering ward.  While in there, I was totally forbidden to get anywhere near the curtain-enclosed ER area where JFK was being cared for. It was, however, easy to feel the tension in the room made even more tense by the heavy police and FBI and Secret Service presence.  By the time I got back to the Juvenile Home, I was at Parkland about an hour, Walter Cronkite had announced that JFK had died.

In spite of this historic occasion and the sullenness and weeping and wailing surrounding it, by the time I got out to Arlington that night, I was ready to party hearty as planned only to find my partying mode quelled by my bride-to-be's anger and the fact that she had called off the party, an action, she told me, that was unnecessary since all the possible party participants had agreed with her and weren't coming anyway.

In subsequent days, Dallas was aflame with assassination news, rumors, conjectures, with the Dallas Police almost immediately telling us they had a suspect they were after.  They said they had found evidence on the 6th floor of the Texas Schoolbook Depository Building that proved the shooting of JFK originated there.  They had found a weapon and spent shells and were in the process of apprehending a person they said had committed this foul deed.  After following this suspect all over Dallas, the Dallas PD announced they had finally cornered the rat in the Texas Theater where he was hiding out.  The rat turned out to be Lee Harvey Oswald.

In those days, the same as I thought it odd that after the World Trade Center towers were blown down the FBI almost immediately published the names and photos of most of the Saudis and the Jordanian who were responsible for carrying out the attack, I thought it quite unusual that the police and the FBI came up with a Kennedy-assassination suspect so fast.  As they hauled Lee Harvey Oswald into jail (on television), he looked at the camera and said he had been framed.  Almost immediately contradictory information of all sorts came flying into the news. Though there were many problems with some of the timelines, the Dallas Police and the FBI stayed sure they had their man.

And what a man they had.  Lee Harvey Oswald.  He had been a Marine.  He had trained in counterespionage at a U2 spy plane base in Japan.  He had taught himself Russian.  He had defected to the Soviet Union and while there married Marina and had a daughter with her.  Then, unbelievably, this defector to Communism three years later was allowed to come back to the USA with his Russian bride and daughter, amazing in that at first he was accused of giving the Soviets secrets that would make him a traitor but then suddenly he had had his passport renewed and was allowed to reenter the USA with no charges against him.

Pissed off at right-wing Dallas and my job, the new director of the department under which I was employed accused me of stealing hams (I requisitioned all the staples for the Juvenile Home kitchen and merely filled out the orders given me by the head cook), so after marrying my bride-to-be in January of 1964, my new wife and I pulled up our Dallas stakes and moved to New Orleans where I began working for the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court.  My big boss in New Orleans was D.A. Jim Garrison.

Going out for lunch one day, I happened into Don's Offshore Lounge and sitting at the bar was Jim Garrison.  I introduced myself and he in a friendly gesture bought me a drink, recommending that I join him in his favorite drink, a Bullshot (vodka and beef bullion).  I saw Jim Garrison many times thereafter during lunch at Don's and began to find him a very interesting man on all aspects of New Orleans politics, Louisiana law, and later became closely aware of his interest in the Kennedy assassination and its relationship to New Orleans.  Through Jim Garrison I learned several truths about Lee Harvey Oswald who had lived in New Orleans just prior to his moving to Dallas.  Through Garrison I learned of Oswald's deep connections to the CIA and a cast of weird anti-Castro characters like David Ferrie, Clay Shaw,  and New Orleans (and Dallas) Mafia boss, Carlos Marcello.  In New Orleans, Oswald posed as a pro-Castro Commie, passing out flyers on New Orleans street corners in support of Fair Play for Cuba, a movement whose intent was a thing called "Tractors for Cuba."  According to Garrison, the CIA had sent Oswald to the Soviet Union as an agent provocateur where he pretended to be a pro-Communist sympathizer.  On his return to the US, Oswald had open connections with a man who had been the former head of the CIA in Chicago (also the Mafia home of Sam Giancana (who helped throw the '60 election to Kennedy in Illinois) whose mistress, JFK had been banging).  Ironically, too, in New Orleans I had moved into a Vieux Carre apartment owned by G. Brian Corp., a real estate front for the Marcello family.

While in New Orleans as a member of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), my wife became friends with the comedian Dick Gregory and comedian Mort Sahl.  Both men, especially Mort Sahl, were convinced Oswald was a CIA stooge and was involved in a plot by the CIA and the Mafia to kill JFK due to JFK's not supporting the Bay of Pigs Cuba invasion and also saying that he was going to break up and do away with the CIA (he had fired Allen Dulles, the creep who was first head of the CIA (during WWII known as the Office of Strategic Services), and ironically who Lyndon Johnson later put on the Warren Commission that investigated the Kennedy Assassination and who through Arlen Specter came up with the single-shooter theory, a theory that has become the official line of the Federal Government and our national media). [Note: later Allen Ginsberg became an avid theorist on the connection of the CIA and the Mafia.  Watch the following video of Rage Against the Machine doing Ginsberg's poem "Hadda Be Playing on the Jukebox":]

After the assassination in Dallas, no one that I knew believed in the single-shooter theory.  No one that I knew believed Oswald acted alone.  We heard people at the scene say that shots came from the grassy knoll that lay ahead of the presidential motorcade.  We heard about three men (called tramps by the Warren Commission) in a railroad boxcar on the railroad overpass that bridged the street down which Kennedy's car was traveling.  We later heard that some of those men were CIA agents (it has been revealed by E. Howard Hunt's son, St. John, that his father was in Dallas that day and confessed on his death bed that there was a plot to kill Kennedy.  It has also since been rumored that George H.W. "Pappy" Bush, who Gerald Ford later made head of the CIA, was also in Dallas that day.  George H.W. "Pappy" Bush was also in NYC the day the Saudi-Arabians and the Jordanian blew down the strongly constructed World Trade Center towers and several other buildings in that complex. The day after his son, Marvin, resigned as the WTC security chief.)

One weekend in Dallas, my old college roommate came to visit me.  He'd just been released from the U.S. Army in which he'd been forced to serve during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  During a night out on the town, we ventured down Commerce Street to the Carousel Club, a strip joint.  During the comedian's time on stage, we started heckling the unfunny guy.  Our heckling got so on point that the audience started joining us in booing the poor unfunny slob.  Soon this man came over to our table and politely told us we had to leave the joint.  "You're ruining my show, boys."  He escorted us to the front door where he gave us two business cards.  "Boys, my sister runs this club out on Oak Lawn.  These passes will get you in her club and I'm buying you boys a couple of drinks."  He showed us the backs of the cards where he wrote "Free drinks for these boys" and signed it "Jack."  It was Jack Ruby.  What a surprise I had when later watching television, I saw Jack Ruby shoot and kill Lee Harvey Oswald.

My involvement with the Kennedy Assassination is further connected since my brother at the time was editorial page editor of the afternoon Dallas newspaper.  He wrote a series of editorials both condemning and defending Dallas citizens' roles in the sordid affair.  The streets were jammed that fateful day with thousands upon thousands of cheering Dallasites and after JFK was shot and killed there was a morbid sadness over the whole town.  When I was up at Parkland Hospital while JFK was there in the ER, outside were hundreds of people filled with anxiety and all of them with tears in their eyes.  My brother also interviewed Jack Ruby in the Dallas County Jail and he said Ruby was a shattered man.  Only a few weeks later, Jack Ruby was dead.  The official report of his death said that he had died of cancer.  [Note: Lyndon Johnson much later, after he had resigned from running for a second term due to the Vietnam War protests (he had lied us (the Tonkin Gulf Incident) into that war that now it has been revealed Kennedy was intent on keeping us out of), just all of a sudden died...of cancer...rumors having it that he had been injected with cancer by FBI agents while on a helicopter flight from Austin out to his ranch on the Perdenales...also the same was said about Marilyn Monroe's unexpected death).]

So that in a hasty way is my story of where I was on the day Kennedy was assassinated.  I could go into this story deeper but there are tons of articles and reportage on the strange unexplained happenings surrounding that assassination.  Some said there were several Oswalds (look alikes) involved in the conspiracy.  Lately I've read that Lyndon Johnson might have had a hand in the assassination, too (he did hate the Kennedy brothers).  A long list of characters involved or rumored to be involved in the assassination were found either murdered or shot and declared suicides, including David Ferrie.  Later while living here in New York City, I met this California woman, Mae Brussels, who proved through hundreds upon hundreds of cross-referenced newspaper and magazine articles that there was a conspiracy involved in JFK's murder.

From New Orleans, I moved to Mexico City.  I lived on Serapio Rendon just around the corner from a bar called Granma.  I was told by my wife's Mexican Airforce lieutenant "admirer" that that bar was where Fidel Castro had first planned his invasion of Cuba...and he later sailed to Cuba from Mexico in a boat called the Granma.  I was told if I were going in there, and I was drinking Cuba Libres at the time, to order my Cuba Libres as "Cuba Libre con Castro, por favor."  That I did and much to the delight of the bar patrons.

for The Daily Conspiratorial Growler
Goya: "What Illness Will He Die From?"

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Existing in New York City: Americans Basically Are Fools

Foto by tgw, New York City, October 2013
The Living Wisdom of C. Wright Mills (from The Power Elite, Oxford Press, 1956)

Governmental agencies contain no more of the higher immorality than do business corporations. Political men can grant financial favors only when there are economic men ready and willing to take them. And economic men can seek political favors only when there are political agents who can bestow such favors. The publicity spotlight, of course, shines brighter upon the transactions of the men in government, for which there is good reason. Expectations being higher, publics are more easily disappointed by public officials. Businessmen are supposed to be out for themselves, and if they successfully skate on legally thin ice, Americans generally honor them for having gotten away with it. But in a civilization so thoroughly business-penetrated as America, the rules of business are carried over into government-especially when so many businessmen have gone into government. How many executives would really fight for a law requiring a careful and public accounting of all executive contracts and 'expense accounts'? High income taxes have resulted in a network of collusion between big firm and higher employee. There are many ingenious ways to cheat the spirit of the tax laws, as we have seen, and the standards of consumption of many high-priced men are determined more by complicated expense accounts than by simple take-home pay. Like prohibition, the laws of income taxes and the regulations of wartime exist without the support of firm business convention. It is merely illegal to cheat them, but it is smart to get away with it. Laws without supporting moral conventions invite crime, but much more importantly, they spur the growth of an expedient, amoral attitude.


Fools Step In Where Angels Fear to Tread
Big fat Chris Christie was reelected governor of New Jersey by a wide margin.  Big fat Chris Christie is a right-wing fool but New Jersey is a state full of right-wing fools.

Bill "Thank God I Married a Black Woman" deBlasio won the New York City mayor's race over a true nutjob idiot Joe Lhota (former head of the Manhattan Transit Authority, a big nest of mediocre big shot managers who are constantly raising transit fares and claiming wages and unions are the cause of them constantly being in the red).  For some cynical reason, I don't see that Bill will be any different than any other mayor of NYC.  He did get my vote when he said he was going to fire our Shanty Irish Police Commissioner Little Ray Kelly but now he's saying he may be bringing old Bill Bratton back to NYC, which to me is kind of a dumb move since Bratton was hired originally by Adolph Giuliani our truly dumbass mayor and then went on to become the Police Commish of L.A.  Bringing Bill Bratton back to NYC adds on to my pessimism about this guy whose campaign didn't sound so liberal or progressive to me, but then I don't trust any politician.  Power goes straight to these guys' heads.  I mean look at the first Black man we elected President?

Our New York fool Senator Chuck Schumer (under the thumb of Wall Street) is promoting Hillbilly Hillary Clinton as our next president.  I am a raving maniac when it comes to flaring high flames against another Clinton getting control of the White House, especially this woman who was nothing but a grade B (and more than likely crooked) Arkansas lawyer and yet has risen to the highest political plateau on the back of her profligate husband who while President couldn't keep his speckled dick and illegal Cuban cigars out of the mouth and vagina of a dumbass babe whose adventures in dildoistic pleasure and giving good blow-jobs made her a beloved New York City/London socialite and women's handbag designer (all the Clintons now, even Chelsea, are filthy pig rich).

I have no faith in the American people.  I still think they are the dumbest people in the world.  They easily have the wool pulled tightly over their eyes.  I mean they are sheepishly (and way back when I was a kid, a book calling America A Nation of Sheep was popular) allowing a colluding bunch of thieves to do away with their Bill of Rights; take away all their privacies; take away their right of Habeas Corpus; replace male penises with AKAs and Glocks; replace female vaginas with unwanted babies; privatize their public school systems; privatize their water supplies; pollute their clean water ways and aquifers; maintain a dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear power; kill and displace millions of otherworld peoples via our many exceptionalist wars going on rather constantly around the globe; take away their voting rights; basing everything they do on whether they have the proper papers or not (Stoppen Sie, wo Ihre Papiere Sind?); steal their homes, land, cars, jobs, pensions, 401Ks, Social Security monies; obligate them to stay in constant debt; downgrade everything their poor old forebearers sweated and worked hard to provide for them; drive the dollar down to worthless paper; force them to work for the lowest wages the corporate criminal minds (the Power Elite) can get away with offering them, etc.

Our dumbass Congress just blessed the NSA with more money and more rights to take away more of our privacy.  And our caring Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning President says he sees no other way to stop those vicious American-hating terrorists from taking over our great democratic nation.  Ironically, I was reading where several pundits say that We the People of the USA are supporting (along with Saudi-Arabia) al-Queda insurgents in Syria.  Such ironies do so amuse me.

Then I recently heard Michio Kaku say that the supervolcano under Yellowstone Park will surely erupt one day and wipe out life as we know in the North America!  And that makes me happy because perhaps I will see mankind die with me when I die, a hope I've held since back when Ronald "Raygun" "Jellybean" "Grade-B Actor" "Alzheimer's Poster Boy" Reagan had the red telephone at his fingertip, ready to push the button that would blow us all to Kingdom Come.

Last night (Nov. 11), I watched a P(ublic)B(ritish)S(ystem) special on Jews who had survived Hitler's final solution and I wondered as this country is turning more and more Fascistic day by day if one day we, too, will have racial cleansing in our laws?  Which race will our future Hitler pick to send to the gas chambers?

Ah Chaos, ain't it sweet?

for The Daily Growler

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Existing in New York City: The New Plantation Is the Old Plantation

Foto by tgw, "Out the Window," New York City, October 2013
Wisdom From C. Wright Mills (from his book, The Power Elite (1956!!!!)

The higher immorality can neither be narrowed to the political sphere nor understood as primarily a matter of corrupt men in fundamentally sound institutions. Political corruption is one aspect of a more general immorality; the level of moral sensibility that now prevails is not merely a matter of corrupt men. The higher immorality is a systematic feature of the American elite; its general acceptance is an essential feature of the mass society.

Of course, there may be corrupt men in sound institutions, but when institutions are corrupting, many of the men who live and work in them are necessarily corrupted. In the corporate era, economic relations become impersonal-and the executive feels less personal responsibility. Within the corporate worlds of business, war-making and politics, the private conscience is attenuated-and the higher immorality is institutionalized. It is not merely a question of a corrupt administration in corporation, army, or state; it is a feature of the corporate rich, as a capitalist stratum, deeply intertwined with the politics of the military state.

The New Plantation Is the Same as the Old Plantation
Remember, on the Old Plantation, Blacks (known in those days as N-worders) could not vote nor could women vote.  The only folks who could vote were landowners who were MEN.  This country was founded on aristocratic ideals.  Our White forefathers were all aristocratic slaveholding landowning MEN.  Slaves and women can't vote because they're too damn dumb to understand the complications of lawmaking and gentlemen conniving in sharing power through back-room (cigar-smoke-filled) politics.

The New Plantation is the same as the Old Plantation in that due to its vastness it relies on lackeys and ass-kissers called managers to keep it running smoothly.  The New Plantation's slave labor has to be overseered.  Down in the fields, the overseers are all well-armed and outfitted in the latest military paraphenalia.  Any uprising has to be immediately shut down by overwhelming force.  The fieldhands have no weapons to fight back with.  Say a little group of the North 40 fieldhands get together in secret and decide to cause a work stoppage.  The field-worker overseers must have ways of knowing about such conspiracies so they infiltrate the fieldhands with informers.  And then let's say the work stoppage actually happens.  BOOM, the overseers and their tactical squads move in and the work stoppage fizzles out quicker than the winking of an eye.

Above the ownership and management and overseers of the New Plantation are the financial sectors.  The New Plantation occasionally may suffer a crop failure so during those times it may need to borrow money or raise capital in order to tide it over to the next high productive cycle.  Also there is a need for insurance goons to insure Ol' Massuh's holdings, including his slave labor, which is chattel mortgage.  Thus the financial giants and the insurance giants were born back in the days before the Civil War.  It was the bankers who have historically kept our governments going.  Abe Lincoln depended on Philadelphia bankers to keep his government's flow of money coming in and going out, bankers who eventually shelled out monies for the Union in the Civil War.

Even after our slaves were freed, the Old Plantation kept rolling along, this time on the backs of tenant farmers, ex-slaves and poor Whites who worked their asses off only to find out they were in-debt up the Wazoo to the company store.

The religion of the Old Plantation?  Same as that for the New Plantation: Christianity...leaning with obeisance to the fundamentalist brand of such, with Catholics accepted too.  There are also a whole bevy of Jewish-Christian righteous reverends among this brace of Christians.
World Series Note
Did you notice how few Blacks were on the Red Sox or the Cardinals in the World Series?  I don't recall one Black on either team unless you classify Big Papi as a Black man.

Country Music Awards
And you talk about a field with NO Blacks in it.  Check out the Country Music Awards.  This field of music looks White to the core to me.  Name me a Black C&W star?

for The Daily Growler