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nealumphredOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 27, 2013 - 05:41 AM
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I finished Stephen King's 11/22/63. Like the other King novels that I have attempted to read, it had a great beginning, catching my attention almost immediately and holding it for a cuppla hundred pages (mostly because I liked the protagonist and the uncertain situations in which the author placed him).

Like those other King novels, the latter part of the book did not hold up as well, leading to a less-than satisfying conclusion—at least to me. Two other members of my book-reading family thought everything about the book just fine.

Hey, hrtshpdbox! While reading the book and King's take on the assassination, I got the rather distinct impression that both Posner's and Mailer's books were King's primary resources. In an afterword that should never have been included in the book, King acknowledges those two books as among his main sources of information. Shame . . .

Hence his almost completely derogatory portrayal of Oswald, which fails to account for how a 17-year old dropout who enlisted in the Marines wrangled an assignment to the the top secret base in Japan monitoring via radar the even more secret U2 spy planes illegally coasting high in the Russian skies.

Nor does King explain how this less-than-bright Jarhead was able to teach himself to read and speak damn near fluent Russian without a teacher while on that top secret assignment in that isolated compound.

Nor does King deal with SO MANY controversies surrounding SO MANY aspects of the evidence—or lack of evidence—notably the fact that the rifle found in the sniper's lair in the Book Depository was specifically identified in their Warren Commission testimony by the three Dallas police officers who found it and handled it as a German 7.65 Mauser. This is one of the key facts (I refer to these argument-nullifiers as 'red flags') fact that Mr. Posner also believed did not deserve any attention in his book.

Or that the Italian rifle alleged to be the murder weapon was NEVER tied to any bullet from Kennedy's body via forensics or ballistics. Nor the fact that that same rifle was devoid of prints when investigated by the FBI's state-of-the-art crime lab, meaning that it was NOT connected to Oswald. Of course, AFTER the rifle was returned by the crime lab, the mysterious palm print noted in Oliver Stone's movie miraculously appeared on the rifle's butt!

The fact that the nitrite test given Oswald indicated that he had NOT fired a rifle in the preceding 24 hours was conveniently overlooked and yadda yadda blah blah.

I could go on but won't. King's NOT acknowledging these facts (all such inconsistencies and improbabilities are swept under the umbrella of the dismissive term 'conspiracy theory') is only important because of the aforementioned afterword.

Had he left well enough alone, the novel's story was opaque enough that no explanations were called for . . until after reading the afterword.

Technically, it was the best writing that I have ever read by King—even if it cried out for a strong editing hand.

So, would I recommend this book? For a 'read,' yes, of course. Why not? It's not bad and Jake Epping/George Amberson did engage me as a character and the endless plot twists he had to navigate his way through kept me wanting more. WARNING: If you read this book without any previous study of the assassination, you may walk away with a very distorted view of too many things that did or didn't happen that day!

Now, I gotta find me some Poul Anderson to sink my mind's teeth into; perhaps some Ensign Flandry . . .

Sith agus Slainte' bha!

NEAL
 
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hrtshpdbox
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 27, 2013 - 06:40 AM
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nealumphred wrote:

Hence his almost completely derogatory portrayal of Oswald, which fails to account for how a 17-year old dropout who enlisted in the Marines wrangled an assignment to the the top secret base in Japan monitoring via radar the even more secret U2 spy planes illegally coasting high in the Russian skies.

Nor does King explain how this less-than-bright Jarhead was able to teach himself to read and speak damn near fluent Russian without a teacher while on that top secret assignment in that isolated compound.


The conventional view has to insist that Oswald was stupid and just plain weird; the "lone nut" conclusion can't have it any other way. Anyone who listens to Oswald's Aug '63 radio interview relative to his Fair Play For Cuba activities:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd_JChyrXkU
...can easily see that Oswald wasn't stupid or particularly manic. That Oswald's HQ for the pro-Castro Fair Play held the same address as the anti-Castro group, the Cuban Revolutionary Council (which was also in the same building as the offices of the virulently anti-Castro Guy Bannister) - we're supposed to think that's just coincidence, that Oswald wasn't working both sides of the street on behalf of U.S. intelligence agencies. We're supposed to think that because the Warren Commission just wanted to wrap everything up with a nice bow as quickly as possible; the American public demanded simple answers, nothing too sticky.

Edit: Also, though I don't know what to make of David Ferrie, his insistence that he never met Oswald was obviously BS. Makes you wonder.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/oswald/glimpse/ferrie.html
 
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nealumphredOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 27, 2013 - 09:05 AM
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I love to argue—and I mean 'argue' in the dictionary meaning of the word: "to give reasons for or against something; [to] reason." Everybody who knows me thinks that I should have been a lawyer.

When someone presents an argument or 'theory' to me that requires a coincidence to work—that is, I have to believe that at least two parts of his argument are in accord merely through happenstance—I am less than impressed and rarely convinced.

When the argument requires TWO coincidences, well, the arguer has already lost me and any willing suspension of disbelief that I might have to offer.

When the coincidences required reach THREE, I am either dealing with a liar or a fool . . .

The two BIGGEST 'conspiracy theories' promulgated by the US government with the aid of the US media are the JFK assassination and the 9/11 scenario. Both government arguments require more coincidences than I can count.

Several years ago, I stumbled over a website where the host stated that one day he started counting the coincidences required to believe the 'official' explanation for the almost supernatural events of 9/11. He counted ten in a matter of minutes.

This inspired him to put up the site and invite readers to submit coincidences that were part and parcel of the government/media explanation and he would list them all in the order in which they arrived.

By the time that I found the site, there were more than 200 coincidences listed . . .

Needless to say, this could be the beginning of a never-ending thread. So, I will end with this: Are you aware of Dorothy Kilgallen's connection to the Kennedy assassination?

Best,

NEAL
 
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hrtshpdbox
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 27, 2013 - 09:52 AM
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nealumphred wrote:
Are you aware of Dorothy Kilgallen's connection to the Kennedy assassination?


Sure. I think I first heard the Kilgallen story sometime around 1965, when I was 9 years old; if I remember correctly, it was my Mom who mentioned it at a family gathering. By then, I'd already read the hardback one-volume Warren Report (condensed version, and a huge bestseller). And, of course, at 7 years old I'd watched Ruby shoot Oswald live on TV; I knew, watching it, that it was really happening and not a show. Somehow it didn't alarm me, I remember thinking "wow, now that guy is dead".

Anyway, I don't know much about the Kilgallen affair. Here's a rough summary of what Bugliosi says about Kilgallen:
1. The one and only source for the story that Kilgallen had even interviewed Ruby (let alone had a story that would "blow the case open") is Penn Jones, who was the leading advocate of the "mysterious deaths" theory. There is no evidence to support, or any collaboration of, Jones' claims.
2. Bill Alexander, the Dallas asst DA and the lead trial reporter at the Ruby trial, said that the idea that Ruby had any private interviews with anyone was "pure BS - the sheriff's office never let any of the reporters talk to Ruby".
3. Hugh Aynesworth, veteran investigative reporter for the Dallas Morning News and Newsweek, and who was nominated for a Pulitzer in '64 for his assassination coverage, said of the supposed Kilgallen interview of Ruby, "I know it didn't happen, and there was never any belief by the press corps in Dallas that it did".

It goes on from there, with Bugliosi demonstrating why (in his view) Kilgallen could not have been murdered, and making the case that Ruby would have had nothing interesting to tell Killgallen anyway, as evidenced by the fact that he lived for several years after killing Oswald and never managed to say anything compelling.

One thing that Kilgallen definitely did do, though - after her friend Marilyn Monroe's death, she wrote in her column that Marilyn had been having an affair with a "prominent" politician, and threatened to reveal it. She also wrote lots of other stuff critical of gov't policy, and no one could say she hadn't made enemies in high places.
 
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nealumphredOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 27, 2013 - 03:19 PM
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Then if we believe the people you cited, we are forced to believe that Ms. Kilgallen was either a liar or delusional--there being no evidence to support either of those beliefs.

She had a legendary journal concerning various murder cases but especially Kennedy. It has been missing since when? The night of her murder, of course.

What is most astounding about the Kennedy assassination and its related events is how seemingly NOTHING ever went "normally." EVERYTHING was lost or stolen (JFK's brain was lost, hence the physical evidence that would have decidedly shown the path of the bullet was gone; the limousine in which JFK rode was lost; the Mauser was lost; etc.); witnesses were never interviewed by the police of the Warren Commission (such as the neighbor who claims to have witnessed Officer Tippett's murder by two gunmen, neither of whom resembled Oswald); and more yadda yadda blah blah.

As I stated above, waaaaaay too many coincidences for me. If you wanna argue that God intervened and made everything happen just so, I believe that that would make more sense than the Warren Commission's conclusions . . .

Best,

NEAL
 
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hrtshpdbox
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 27, 2013 - 04:03 PM
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nealumphred wrote:

What is most astounding about the Kennedy assassination and its related events is how seemingly NOTHING ever went "normally."


Neal, I completely agree with you there, and that's a great point - there is virtually nothing about the case that doesn't look like something else entirely with the slightest scratching away at it. It gets progressively weirder the deeper you dig, and that's why the "lone nutter's" have to stake out simplistic ideas and stick to them, even when there's so many dangling disqualifiers.

As for Kilgallen, I have no opinion (don't know enough on it), I was just citing Bugliosi's views because I happen to have his 6-pound text sitting on my coffee table at the moment. Laughing
 
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Post subject:   PostPosted: Aug 05, 2013 - 10:49 AM
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All politics & conspiracies aside...I just finished "Life Is Too Short" by Mickey Rooney.
Hard to believe the Mick deflowering Ava Gardner and getting parallel with Norma Shearer, but that's what he says.
Then again, he also claims that Mickey Mouse was named after HIM, so the credibility has to stop sometime. Oh yeah, and then there's that visit from that "angel"...

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rooster
Post subject:   PostPosted: Aug 06, 2013 - 01:27 AM
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After struggling (and I do mean STRUGGLING) through "'Scuse Me While I Kiss The Sky: The Life Of Jimi Hendrix"( a book I CANNOT recommend for so many reasons that I would be in violation of the posting of long lists rule here, were i to list them all), I have moved on to "Treat It Gentle", an autobiography of Sidney Bechet. Although I'm only 53 pages in and I haven't even gotten to Bechet's music yet, I can say I believe this Book will make me happy once I've read it.

rooster

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wand143Offline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Aug 08, 2013 - 11:29 AM
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"Seuss, The Whole Seuss, And Nothing But The Seuss"...hundreds of pages of evidence that, if Ted Geisel never wrote a single kids' book, he could've easily retired on his advertising and political illustrations.

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Post subject:   PostPosted: Aug 25, 2013 - 12:29 AM
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Well, folks, the Sidney Bechet book "Treat It Gentle" was a fantastic reading experience (as i thought it would be). A really great book. I recommend it whole heartedly. If any of you has any interest in New Orleans Jazz and how it became changed through the years, this is the book to read. Bechet's first person narrative is pretty thorough. It also provided me with a few surprises, like his opinion of some of early jazz's biggest names.

I've moved on to the Eliot Asinof Baseball history, "Eight Men Out" (from which they made the film of the same name) about the throwing of the 1919 World Series by eight members of the Chicago White Sox. I'm about a third of the way through it and it seems very well researched and written, not to mention highly interesting to the baseball fan.

rooster

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