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Pat Speer

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  1. Martin Hay Reviews Bugliosi Jr.

    I think some of those believing "Oswald did it because well he must've, right, we don't have any solid evidence towards any other shooter in Dealey Plaza that we can name anyhow" are open-minded enough to recognize that the SBT is wacky. And are desperately flailing to come up with some way it could be Oswald without the SBT... I see them as being on the road to a sudden realization... "Oh my God, maybe it wasn't Oswald, after all!" But for one thing... These SBT-doubters have spent years if not their whole working life working with law enforcement, and the fabrication of evidence and/or false testimony of the DPD and/or FBI is not something they are able to consider.
  2. Buell Wesley Frazier

    Having talked to Frazier a number of times about his friendship with Oswald, and having heard him speak publicly about his friendship with Oswald, I can say that there is nothing to Paul's speculation there was more to their friendship (a term which is stretching the facts a bit) than meets the eye. Frazier was a country boy, but he was curious about the world and wished he were more educated. He admired Oswald for a couple of reasons. One is that Oswald seemed worldly and educated--he'd traveled, and he read the paper every day. And two is that he had a gentle demeanor, whereby he would explain politics to those with an interest (including Frazier) and take the time to play with kids. In short, Frazier thought Oswald was a good guy. That doesn't mean he was in love with him.
  3. Martin Hay Reviews Bugliosi Jr.

    Wagner contacted me about a year ago, and asked me if I would be interested in reading his book. He said he'd read some of my writings and was anxious to share his work with me, even though he knew I would probably not be swayed much as a result. He told me he'd rejected the single-bullet theory. I found that refreshing, and told him to go ahead and ship me the book. Upon receipt of the book, I looked through it, and saw how reliant it was on Bugliosi's book, and how, at times, it greatly overstates the case for Oswald's guilt. So I stopped reading. Since then I've picked through it at times, but have found it mostly more of the same stuff you see on the forums. But there's a difference. Wagner is not just a bystander. He went to the mock trial at his own expense and is anxious to be involved in more public discussions re the assassination. I see this as good news for the research community. A decade ago Mark Fuhrman wrote a best-selling Oswald did it book in which he rejected the SBT. And now comes Wagner. If those advocating the LN position gradually give in and admit the SBT is malarkey, IMO, it will only be a matter of time before the mainstream media follows suit. And that will open the door for a more honest public discussion of the case, IMO.
  4. Buell Wesley Frazier

    FWIW, Randle never said she thought the bag was 3 feet 6 inches, she said she thought it was 36 inches. This was her making a guess. The FBI later re-created Oswald's movements with a "bag", after which she made a much more educated guess based upon the appearance of the "bag" she saw in "Oswald's" possession. She now said she thought the bag was 27 inches long. Significantly, this was the same length claimed by her brother after the FBI placed "bags" of different lengths and widths on the back seat of his car. Frazier, moreover, claimed as well that the bag he saw in Oswald's possession was but 6 inches wide. Let's do the math. Bag in the archives--- 38 by 8 1/2 inches (323 sq in) Buell Frazier's estimate for the bag he saw on the back seat of his car. 27 by 6 inches (162 sq in, barely half as large as the bag in the archives) Linnie Mae Randle's estimate for the bag she saw in Oswald's possession. 27 by 8 1/2 inches (229 1/2 sq in, barely 70% as large as the bag in the archives) So, yeah, the bag supposedly carried by Oswald on the morning of the 22nd was twice as large as the bag recalled by one of the two witnesses to Oswald with a bag, and 40% larger than the bag recalled by the other. The eyewitness evidence is thereby fairly convincing that it wasn't the same bag.
  5. Buell Wesley Frazier

    FWIW, I've talked to Frazier four times now. Twice in 2014, once in 2015, and then again last year. And he comes across as deeply sincere. He has decided to cash in a bit on his celebrity, however. He set up a table at last year's Lancer Conference, and sold autographed paper bags filled with curtain rods for twenty bucks, as I remember. He also told me he's working on a book, describing his experiences. I told him he should make sure to provide some detail about his TSBD co-workers, as it's hard to get much of a feel for these people from the existing record. (He told me Jack Dougherty was not retarded and was actually quite a pleasant guy, who loved to read. I told him that's not how people studying the historical record would perceive him, and told him he should set the record straight, about Dougherty, as well as Oswald.)

    I believe the most extensive timeline on the assassination is Walt Brown's Chronology which stretches several thousand pages if I recall. It includes a lot on the history of the Kennedys and Oswalds. He was selling it as a DVD-rom at one point. I bought one from him 2013. I'm not sure if he continues to sell them, but I'd be willing to bet there's a number of them floating around.
  7. Jim DiEugenio spanks The Post

    FWIW, Jim, I am for the most part a Garrison (and Stone) defender. My comment about Stone's depiction of Ferrie was not meant as a comment on the accuracy of the dialogue, but on the casting and performance. Pesci makes Ferrie out to be a clown, someone you can't take seriously, when Ferrie was, to my understanding, a very thoughtful and serious fellow. It was kinda like having Ho Chi Minh played by a buck-toothed Mickey Rooney. As far as Helms/Bradlee... I went to school with three people who went on to become celebrities: Mare Winningham, Valerie Bertinelli, and John Elway, I passed them in the hall, and may have even talked to them a time or two. I was friends with Winningham's brother. One of my best friend's was friends with Bertiinelli's brother. And another of my best friends was on the basketball team with Elway. I even graded Elway's papers for his Advanced Comp class. But we were by no means "buddies" or "school chums". The connection cited for Helms and Bradlee is far more flimsy. Unless Davis offered up a quote by Helms or Bradlee indicating they knew each other, or something more solid than Helms' grandparents living in the same neighborhood as the much-younger Bradlee, then, I think we should stop claiming they knew each other, let alone that they grew up "together." P.S. I just took a look at Helms' book and it confirms that he grew up in Philadelphia and then New York. Not Boston. It also reveals, however, that he moved to Switzerland while in high school, came back to attend Williams College (which is roughly 160 miles from Boston) from 31 to 35, and then returned to Europe to work as a correspondent for UPI. There is no indication he spent any significant time in Boston. In fact, there are two references to his maternal grandparents, neither of which mention Boston. There is a childhood picture of Helms at his grandparents' house in Goshen, New York, and there is a reference to his getting sick while in Europe and then recuperating at his grandparents' house in Basel, Switzerland.
  8. Jim DiEugenio spanks The Post

    Thanks, Ron. It appears that that bit about Bradlee and Helms comes from Deborah Davis's hit job on Katharine Graham. I have that book in storage. If anyone has that book handy, and can tell me where she gets that from, I'd appreciate it.. Until then, I'm gonna suspect she just made it up. I mean, it looks good, at first glance. But they grew up in different cities, went to different schools, and ran in different circles. And Helms was 8 years older than Bradlee and living outside the country by the time Bradlee was 14. There's just no reason to believe they even knew each other, let alone spent their childhood as "buddies".
  9. Jim DiEugenio spanks The Post

    Spielberg is primarily a director. I suspect that he reads scripts with an eye not for detail or accuracy, but for entertainment. "How can I turn this into something the audience will love?" "How can I make those in the audience feel better about the world?" And last but not least "How can I turn this into a set piece of heightened action or drama, such as a shark demolishing a boat, a group of kids flying across the moon on their bicycles, a T-Rex chasing a car, or a Jew and a Nazi wrestling to the death? Hitchcock, who Spielberg idolizes, worked much the same way. North by Northwest was largely an excuse to have a man chased by a crop-duster, and a dramatic spy chase on Mt. Rushmore. It seems evident to me, then, that Spielberg prodded the writers of The Post to come up with bits such as McNamara being at the party where Graham learns the Post has the papers. Schindler's List, if you recall, was filmed in black and white, except for one little girl wearing red who somehow appears to escape the Nazis' attention. This was all just a set-up of course, so that he could later show this little girl wearing red in a stack of bodies. That's just the way he works. That's just the way he thinks.
  10. Jim DiEugenio spanks The Post

    Does anyone know where this stuff about Helms and Bradlee being childhood buddies comes from? From what I can tell, Helms was born in 1913, and raised in Philadelphia and New York, and Bradlee was born in 1921, and raised in Boston. Helms graduated Williams College in 1935. Bradlee was 14 at the time. Helms then moved to Europe and became a foreign correspondent. Meanwhile, Bradlee went to Harvard. During the war, for that matter, Helms worked for the Navy out of New York and then Washington, and then joined the OSS. Bradlee, on the other hand, joined Naval intelligence after graduating Harvard, and then served in the Pacific. It seems likely they never met till after the war. It seems possible, for that matter, that they never met until much later, in the late 50's, or early 60's, when both men were closing in on middle age.
  11. Jim DiEugenio spanks The Post

    Yes, Kill the Messenger, which was written by Peter Landesman, the same guy who wrote and directed Parkland, and more recently Mark Felt. The point I've been trying to make is that film-makers aren't particularly concerned with what the "true" story is, but are more concerned with telling the story they want to tell, even if it means changing the timeline and combining characters, etc. Or polishing up the character of the leads. As discussed in William Goldman's books on Hollywood, moreover, most big budget films can't get made without the addition of a star, and most stars won't portray characters that might damage their brand. In other words, much of the time, the dialogue and behavior of the lead character is sculpted to suit the "star" playing that character, and is not necessarily what the director.had in mind when he/she first signed on to the project. Landesman is cut from the Spielberg mold, which is the say the traditional Hollywood mold, the mold of The Sound of Music and The Untouchables. Oliver Stone, clearly,, is more in the Costa Gavras mold, the mold of Z and Missing. Stone, as Costa Gavras, has more of an edge. But he's not necessarily more interested in accuracy, IMO. At least not in the details. His depictions of Shaw and Ferrie in JFK, for example, were cartoon-like. As was his depiction of Johnny Carson in the director's cut... Now, I know why he did this. JFK was written and directed from Garrison's point of view. But that doesn't mean it was accurate. As far as The Post, the main take-away from the film, IMO, is that it's the press's responsibility to keep the government in check, and expose it when it lies for reasons other than national security, particularly when it hides behind national security to perpetuate these lies. I mean, who can argue with that? And who can argue with its second main take-away? That the days when men of privilege and education push women of privilege and education around must come to an end? There's nothing edgy about it. But it's the kind of movie a lot of people have been dying to see. As demonstrated by its nomination for Best Picture. As stated, it's not about Vietnam. It's about today. It's about Trump.
  12. Jim DiEugenio spanks The Post

    It's not that anyone is afraid of the facts, Jim, it's that the plain facts, and nothing but the facts, don't sell. To most, they're not entertaining. A more accurate film based on The Pentagon Papers, with James Spader as Daniel Ellsberg, was put out some years back, but few, outside geeks like myself, cared or even noticed. Just as a recitation of one's feelings can be made a hundred times more powerful with the addition of some poetry, and melody, the lessons of history can be made far more accessible, and powerful, with a little added drama. As far as this particular film...I would agree that it could have been just as effective if Spielberg had made more of an effort to be accurate.
  13. Jim DiEugenio spanks The Post

    Stories based on true stories are stories which make use of a few real people and incidents. I don't expect Spielberg--or Stone for that matter--to tell us a story with the same attention to detail one might get from a documentary. That's not how the art form works. Movies in general, and Hollywood films in particular, tell the story the film makers want to tell. Historical accuracy is secondary, or worse. Argo, for example, won best picture even though the last third of it (the daring escape at the airport) was completely fabricated. It's clear someone thought well this is interesting but it's not a "movie" unless we have a daring escape. So voila, a daring escape was added. The same kind of thinking, no doubt, went into many of the choices Spielberg made with The Post. Now, do I wish film-makers were more interested in historical accuracy? Sure. But that doesn't stop me from appreciating The Great Escape, The Sound of Music, and The Untouchables, or any of the hundreds of excellent movies "based on a true story." I mean, did a carriage really roll down the Odessa Steps, as presented in The Battleship Potemkin? I suspect not. Let's not even talk about Shakespeare.
  14. Jim DiEugenio spanks The Post

    Re The Post... The movie makes it quite clear that the Pentagon Papers story was an Ellsberg/NYT story, and that the Washington Post only jumped in when the Nixon Administration used the courts to stop the Times. It also makes it quite clear that The Washington Post was an establishment paper, that was historically quite cozy with the government. This, moreover, is the source of the drama. 1. Will The Post break from its past and help reveal something the government doesn't want revealed, even if revealing this could cost the Post's owners a fortune? 2. Will a widow used to lunching with the Washington elite turn her back on her friends and advisors and put her family's company at risk? To tell a story the government doesn't want told? The ultimate answer, of course, is YES. Which is why the film was made. It celebrates both the importance of the fourth estate as a watchdog on the government, and the importance of WOMEN standing up against the good ole boy network in American life. It's not about Vietnam. It's about Trump. I saw it on its opening weekend. It received a standing ovation, for obvious reasons. Meryl Streep was fantastic, as usual. Hanks was very good. Spielberg was Spielberg, which is to say the film was designed to bring about a response, more than it was designed as a history lesson, and it brought about that response. Many women in the audience left the showing with tears in their eyes. P.S. The comparisons to JFK are actually quite appropriate. With JFK, Stone used the Garrison case as a stepping stone to make a point about the assassination. With The Post, Spielberg used the The Washington Post's role in the Pentagon Papers saga as a stepping stone to make a point about the importance of the press, and the importance of women. Neither director was interested in making a documentary. And neither one did.
  15. JFK X-RAY - Where is rear bullet entry point?

    Methinks the emperor has no clothes. Mantik accuses me of an "ad hominem" attack. I merely pointed out that he either misled his strongest supporters about the nature of the "white spot", or sat back quietly while they misled others. This is not a personal attack on my part. It is a true and salient observation. If people are gonna cite Mantik's research on this forum, they should realize that what people claim of Mantik is often at odds with what Mantik actually believes. They should also realize that Mantik is inconsistent, at best. Single-assassin theorist Robert Wagner, for example, cited Mantik's one-time claim there's no evidence for a shot from the knoll. He didn't realize that Mantik now claims there is such evidence. In any event, Mantik responded by claiming Wagner's book should be banned. As far as the 20 questions for me pushed by Mantik... the vast majority of these are answered on my website, and have been answered on my website for years...well before Mantik "reviewed" my website for CTKA. (A "review" to which Jim "in the interest of fairness" DiEugenio refused to allow a response, BTW). In any event, I don't see any point in taking the bait and allowing my original observation to get buried.