Tag Archives: political assassinations

Remembering JFK

22 Nov

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“We must use time as a tool, not a crutch.” — JFK

NOVEMBER 22

Today marks 48 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

It is a time when all Americans (even those who were not yet born in 1963) stop to reflect on what our country lost that day for we lost so much more than more than just a man — and we ponder what role that tragic event played in shaping the world we now find ourselves living in.

While it is important that we pause to remember the past, and to ask these questions about America’s future (he would want us to), let’s not allow ourselves to forget the man Jack Kennedy was. Because it seems that far too often, we focus our attention on his death and the many questions that still remain unanswered. Shouldn’t we instead remember his life?

Sitting atop the perch where Abraham Zapruder took film of the assassination, a young boy tries to make sense of it all. Dealey Plaza, Dallas, TX. June 1, 2008

Sitting atop the perch where Abraham Zapruder shot his film of the assassination, a young boy tries to make sense of it all. Dealey Plaza, Dallas, TX. June 1, 2008

Since this somber anniversary happens to fall around Thanksgiving, it just doesn’t seem appropriate somehow to be mournful. Rather, let us give thanks for all of the good things he brought to this world as a catalyst for change. Let us recall the way he inspired people around the globe; the hope and optimism he brought to the presidency. Let’s celebrate his vision, his strength, his courage, his razor-sharp mind, his gracecharm, and of course, that delightful, sometimes wicked wit.

This would be a perfect time to reach for one of your favorite books on the shelf and immerse yourself in some of his words. Listen to some of his best speeches. Because these things are the legacy he left us. His words will live in history forever and cannot be erased.

A single red rose on the Grassy Knoll in front of the former Texas School Book Depository (now the 6th Floor Museum).

A single red rose, left by an unknown admirer on the Grassy Knoll in front of the former Texas School Book Depository (now the 6th Floor Museum).

Naturally, we all have our own favorite books and speeches of JFK’s; I’ve certainly got a long list of works I find deeply moving and inspiring, but I’ll refrain from making any recommendations here because I feel that how each of us remembers him today should be a strictly personal choice.

But there is one little tidbit I want to share:

On November 19, 1963, just three days before his death, President Kennedy wrote this message for the re-dedication ceremonies of the national cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania:

“The goals of liberty and freedom, the obligations of keeping ours a government of and for the people are never-ending.”

Just one sentence, but this says it all. Written nearly a half century ago, his words serve to remind us all that there is still so much work to do. Lest we forget.

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

 President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

May 29, 1917- November 22, 1963

Notes and flowers left for President Kennedy on the Grassy Knoll Fence. Dallas, June 2008

Notes and flowers left for President Kennedy on the Grassy Knoll Fence. Dallas, June 2008

 PHOTO GALLERY

Text and images copyright 2008-2011, New Frontier. All rights reserved.

 

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Op-Ed: A Ghastly Halloween Tale

31 Oct

JUST IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN

Perhaps it is fitting that this frightening story broke on All Hallows’ Eve – and on Fox News, of all places (even scarier!) – but nonetheless, it sent a cold shiver down my spine and should be a matter of, ahem, “grave” concern to all loyal Americans, good Democrats, and especially Kennedy supporters. It’s ghoulish, it’s ghastly, it’s disturbing beyond words…and on this night of frights, it’s not a trick or a treat.

It does not please me to interrupt my Halloween celebration to pen this editorial, but I felt compelled to warn our readers and Kennedy loyalists everywhere about what I’ve learned in my own independent investigation today. With this latest news breaking so close to the election, it is imperative that our blog inform voters before they go to the polls about a developing story which raises serious questions about the Democratic nominee for president – at least in my mind – and may in fact be a dealbreaker for many of us who had high hopes that Obama would be the next best thing to another Kennedy in the White House.

After what I learned today, I’m not so sure about that anymore. This news stopped me in my tracks, and now I’ve got to tell you that I’m having major doubts about Obama’s judgment, his choice of friends, and (as RFK Jr. referenced Sarah Palin in a recent Huffington Post piece), his “reading list.”

The story came out on All Hallows’ Eve that longtime Obama friend and former Weather Underground leader William Ayers published a sort of communist manifesto back in 1974 called Prairie Fire. Okay, fine – we all knew he was a radical who plotted an overthrow of the U.S. Government and planned strategic acts of terrorism which put the lives of innocents at risk. That’s old news, and besides, we hear he’s feeling much better now. Supposedly, the sickness passed long ago and he’s mellowed out in his old age. These days, he’s a respected professor at Columbia University. So, why all the brouhaha over a book he published 34 years ago?

The problem is that Ayers dedicated the book to Sirhan Sirhan, alleged assassin of Robert F. Kennedy.

Upon first hearing the news, I tried to dismiss it as outrageous right-wing propaganda, cooked up in a desperate last-ditch attempt to score points for their man McCain. After all, coming from the likes of Sean Hannity, it surely must be nothing but a big fat lie, a terrible smear with no basis in fact.

But I was wrong. After investigating this story for most of today, and examining a copy of the now very-rare book, I have to tell you that I am deeply troubled by what I read. There’s just no logical explanation for this – it is an out-and-out endorsement of Sirhan, lauding him as a “political prisoner” and egads, a hero!?!

Dedication to William Ayers 1974 book Prairie Fire, dedicated in part to Kennedys convicted killer Sirhan Sirhan.

Dedication to William Ayers’ 1974 book “Prairie Fire,” dedicated in part to Kennedy’s convicted killer Sirhan Sirhan.

READ IT AND WEEP

Only a couple of weeks ago, on October 17th, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. offered up a strong defense of William Ayers on CNN’s Larry King Live. From the official transcript:

KENNEDY: “OK. You know, this is an issue that the media has completely distorted. Not only, you know, Bill Ayers is a guy who was the — Illinois made him Man of the Year, the Illinois legislature. He’s been — he’s — but let me just say this. John McCain has had close associations with G. Gordon Liddy, who six years ago advised shooting taxpayers in the head.”

True enough, but wait a minute…what about Obama’s close association with Bill Ayers, who 34 years ago praised the man who allegedly shot your father in the head, Bobby? I don’t get it.

Kennedy went on to say that:

“Sarah Palin has spoken this year, four months ago, to the Alaska Independence Party, whose head was blown up making plastic explosives in 1993. She gave the keynote address there in 2006.
These are people who are extremely anti-American.”

This is also true, but what about Ayers’ Weather Underground, who set off more than a few explosions themselves back in the day (and plotted to set off many more)? Isn’t any act of terrorism against our nation “extremely anti-American,” regardless of whether the group is radical left or radical right?

Radical is radical, in this blogger’s humble opinion – and had Ayers and his group attempted these horrific acts during the Kennedy administration, I’d be willing to bet that Attorney General Robert Kennedy (an avowed anti-Communist and patriotic American who had a strict no tolerance policy against disruptions of law and order) would have left no stone unturned in prosecuting and convicting Ayers and his WU comrades.

Therefore, we can only conclude that Bobby Jr. has never read Bill Ayers’ book Prairie Fire – for if he had ever laid eyes on that creepy dedication, we seriously doubt that he would defend this disturbed whack job.

After all, he viciously attacked Sarah Palin recently for quoting Westbrook Pegler in her RNC Convention speech, and rightly so. Pegler, a fascist and a bigot, had unapologetically called for “some white patriot of the Southern tier” to assassinate Senator Robert Kennedy in 1965. Scary, scary stuff, indeed. But is that any less disturbing than Bill Ayers heaping praise upon the man who actually did pull the trigger in 1968?

All conspiracy theories about whether or not Sirhan Sirhan delivered the kill shot to RFK’s head in the Ambassador Hotel pantry (we have our doubts about that, too) aside, the fact that Sirhan emptied his gun into five other innocent victims that night is not in dispute. Nor is the fact that Sirhan came to the hotel with the intent to murder Senator Kennedy. Whether or not he succeeded in his twisted mission is a debate for another day, preferably in a fair re-trial before an impartial jury. But this man is no patriot, no hero — at least, not to me. Not to those who loved Bobby Kennedy. And yet, he was apparently Bill Ayers’ hero.

Some might say, “ah, but that book was published nearly 35 years ago, surely Ayers doesn’t feel that way about Sirhan Sirhan anymore.” If that be so, then why has Ayers never apologized for his praise of Sirhan, nor retracted his own words on the matter? I don’t know, folks…you tell me.

“ALL THAT IS NECESSARY FOR EVIL TO SUCCEED IS THAT GOOD MEN DO NOTHING” — M.L.K.

Why has Senator Obama not denounced this man already? Where is his sympathy, compassion, and loyalty to RFK’s brother Ted Kennedy who, despite battling terminal brain cancer, continues to be one of Obama’s staunchest supporters? One can only surmise that Senator Kennedy has not seen Ayers’ book, or else he would be burning up the phone lines right fucking now, demanding that Obama cut all ties with Ayers. And how does this make President Kennedy’s only daughter Caroline Kennedy, feel tonight, one wonders? How about Bobby’s eight surviving children and numerous grandchildren?

I won’t even try to pontificate on how this story must affect them, but would have to wager a guess that it sure isn’t a warm and fuzzy feeling. And now that this story is known to the public and their family as well, I wonder why they would still blindly support Senator Obama if he insists on maintaining his association with William Ayers. The candidate positioning himself as “the next JFK” and who has drawn so many comparisons to RFK (from the Kennedy family themselves, no less) is treading very murky, dangerous waters here with Ayers. The Kennedys should insist that Ayers be kicked to the curb right away, regardless of whatever cabinet posts may be dangled before their eyes as carrots, or whatever the eventual fallout may be.

Doing so will not cost Senator Obama the election. He’s already pulling away in the polls, and victory on November 4 seems to be all but guaranteed, barring any election night shenanigans from the GOP. If anything, a strong public denouncement of William Ayers will only help Obama with voters, none of whom, I’m sure, have any good feelings towards the man. Obama will come out of it smelling like a rose, just as he did when he wisely distanced himself from Rev. Jeremiah Wright earlier this year.

As for me, my first loyalty was, is, and always will be to the Kennedys, particularly to the memories of my martyred heroes Jack and Bobby. And as much as I would like to give Senator Obama my vote next week, I simply cannot in good conscience until he stands before the American people and tells us in no uncertain terms that Ayers is GONE. I don’t mean gone-til-after-election-day, either. I mean GONE GONE.

You may now resume your regularly scheduled Halloween activities, having been duly advised of this frightening and very inconvenient truth. Do your own research and make up your own minds. But whether it’s a nightmare on Elm Street, a nightmare on Wilshire Boulevard, or a nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue, it’s still a bloody nightmare.

I’ll give the last word to another martyred hero, John Lennon, who got it right in 1968 when he sang:

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
all right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We’d all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We’re doing what we can
But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait!

Revolution by the Beatles, hereby dedicated to foolish nitwits like Bill Ayers and those who follow him

Posted by: Editor on October 31, 2008 at 9:59 p.m.

* For further study and supporting documentation, please see below:

Video of RFK Jr. defending Bill Ayers on the Oct. 17th CNN broadcast. (The Ayers portion of the debate can be found near the end, at appx. 4 minutes into the clip):

 

* Read lengthy excerpts from Prairie Fire here courtesy of the aptly-named ZombieTime blog, who originally broke the story on Halloween. While their reporting is decidedly far to the right and should therefore be taken with a few grains of salt, the scanned book pages presented on their site are of high-resolution and free to download. After comparing them side-by-side against an original copy of Prairie Fire, they are also no doubt, authentic.

Also, here’s a link to the video as reported exclusively tonight on Hannity and Colmes. Never thought we’d actually be posting a link to Fox Noise on this blog, but folks, this isn’t a matter of left and right. It’s about RIGHT and WRONG. And this is just wrong on so many levels, it defies all reasonable logic. It wouldn’t matter to me which news organization broke the story, so long as it is accurate. And unfortunately for all who loved Senator Bob Kennedy, it is.
 
(* DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this editorial are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the Kennedy family, or the owners of this website.)