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Denny Zartman

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  1. Wow! It sure does sound like your email played a role in the decision not to move forward with the project, Vince. I had also heard that a producer of the adaptation of Stephen King's 11-22-1963 eventually came to the personal conclusion that Oswald didn't act alone. It's telling that so many of these projects have been dramatically downscaled or cancelled outright, and even those associated with with produced projects have expressed doubt with the official story after exposure to the facts of the case.
  2. Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope you all are having a happy holiday season and will have a wonderful new year.
  3. Some have said that the politics of the papers were also contrasting as well. The example being that it would be like someone trying to project a political philosophy by holding up copies of The Nation and National Review. To me, one of the questions I have is: were the backyard photos unique in Oswald's life, or did he at other times have pictures taken of himself with his weapons?
  4. I apologize for not clarifying that I was not attempting to minimize the significance or importance of the JFK assassination myself. That wasn't my intention.
  5. I agree with Donald Jeffries's identification of ego as part of what has played into JFK research for decades. I don't think that's a flaw unique to this subject, though. I believe ego plays a role in every field and many parts of everyday life. It seems few JFK researchers make any money at all, or have any sort of regular staff to assist them. Some researchers are actually losing money in the long run. The hard reality is that most of us aren't doing this professionally. It seems that the only sort of organization is mostly going to be volunteer work and loosely coordinated research activity. Once a particular individual starts attempting to coordinate all of these independent, unpaid researchers into an organized and productive research team, problems seem to inherently arise as egos begin to play a part. I always try to attempt to qualify my statements. I believe I can never be 100% sure about anything, so I try to use caution and avoid talking in absolutes whenever possible. I know I've often failed at that, but I try my best. I've had some spirited debates with advocates of the lone assassin theory over the years. While these debates have often been intellectually stimulating in that they test my knowledge and comprehension of the facts, I find that occasionally anger and frustration makes me start taking sides on certain aspects of the case. While there is nothing wrong with defending what one believes to be true and can be proven with evidence, for me personally, I'm always concerned with the possibility that my ego will become more focused on winning the argument than truly considering (and be willing to re-consider) every aspect of all facts large and small. Here is Donald's 2013 consensus statement, which he says few researchers would endorse: In essence I don't disagree and I doubt many JFK researchers would, but personally I would avoid language like "conclusively" or say that the previous investigations were not "real". Those investigations, biased as they were, did exist. I would not characterize the JFK assassination as the most significant political assassination of the 20th century either, even if I believed it to be so. The reason being is that a casual reader might say historians have pinpointed the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand as a prime factor in touching off World War I and could therefore be legitimately considered an assassination of equal significance at least. It also seems unnecessary to me to assign less significance to the other major assassinations of the 20th century. The assassinations of MLK and Malcolm X were certainly political and significant, and none of us knows how history would have been changed had RFK become President. I wouldn't want someone brand new to JFK research disagreeing with the consensus statement from jump street. In my opinion that's a bad way to start. I would also not "date" the consensus statement with the "on the verge of the 50th anniversary" language, but that is a stylistic preference. As we can see, already my own ego and personal preferences are influencing my reaction to Donald's consensus statement. It appears that the negative feedback Donald received has affected his ego too. I understand. It's hard to craft a statement hoping for a consensus from your peers and then feel the pressure to revise it by committee. It would likely feel to him as a simple rejection of the spirit of the statement as well as an example of how fractured and disorganized the research community is. Finally, I sort of question the need for this statement at all. I believe most CT JFK researchers already agree that the official investigations did not do their jobs. Of course we would be interested in a new investigation, but the last thing in the world anyone needs is another sham government inquiry. They've kept this secret and obfuscated for over half a century. Why would anyone expect government investigators to come clean now when the intent was to let it fade into history all along?
  6. I didn't hate it, but Goodfellas remains the quintessential gangster movie. I thought DeNiro did some good acting in a few effective scenes. The de-aging didn't bother me. I thought it looked fine. It was nice to see Joe Pesci again after so long. But like I said, Goodfellas has such spark and life in it, and then accelerates into the final act. In contrast, The Irishman is often quiet, and gets even quieter in the third act. That's not necessarily a bad thing in concept: it is a meditation on non-violent mortality in contrast to the adrenaline and cocaine fueled climax of Goodfellas. But when I want to sit down and much some popcorn and chill in front of the screen, Goodfellas is the movie I would turn to to deliver the goods rather than The Irishman. - About The Godfather, I have mixed feelings. The book is pulpy and not very well-written. "He's a real 90 caliber, he's a real pezzonovante, he's a real 90 caliber pezzonovante!", The same could be said for the novels Jaws and Psycho, though. Still, it's kind of a miracle that the film turned out as well as it did. Michael's exile to Italy is a huge momentum killer, and Coppola deserves credit for keeping it and managing not to totally kill the pace of the story. I don't think it's a bad movie. @Joe Bauer and @James DiEugenio both make good and valid observations. I think it's very well produced, some of the acting is terrific, and it's certainly telling a wide-ranging story. There are many iconic lines and images, and of course the music. My schism is even greater on The Godfather Part II. I think all the prequel scenes are amazing. Awesome storytelling, effective, economical, and with even more lavish cinematography and production value. That part of the movie rocks and is better than the original Godfather. The stuff that is set after the events of the first film, I have NEVER been able to manage to be interested in. It seemed to be so many shots of going to Miami and having meetings. No matter how many times I watch the film, I just can't get into it. Godfather Part III, I try to pretend didn't happen. Back in the day they had a cut called The Godfather Saga, which was the first two films edited into chronological order. That was pretty cool.
  7. I watched The Irishman on Netflix just before Thanksgiving. I'll write my reactions in a separate post. I wanted to cross-post the notes I took when reading the book I Heard You Paint Houses. This was meant to focus solely upon the JFK revelations: “I Heard You Paint Houses” by Charles Brandt 2016 paperback edition. JFK Revelations from Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran Frank Sheeran, a labor union official, worked for Russell Bufalino, (Mafia boss of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Bufalino family from 1959 to 1989) and labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa. Sheeran had a criminal career from 1945 to 1975, including multiple murders. Sheeran claims to have murdered Hoffa in 1975. Pg. 119 – Sheeran says he met Jack Ruby several times. Sheeran says that he saw Ruby in the company of Sam Giancana (the boss of the Mafia’s Chicago Outfit from 1957–1966), and Paul “Red” Dorfman (the head of the Chicago Waste Handler's Union and a member of the Chicago Outfit.) Pgs. 128 – 129 – Sheeran describes meeting Carlos Marcello’s (Mafia boss of New Orleans) pilot David Ferrie (initially the central figure in New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s 1966 JFK investigation.) Sheeran says that some time before the 1961 failed Bay Of Pigs invasion of Cuba he was told by Hoffa to drive a truck to Baltimore, Maryland, and meet Ferrie at a landing strip at the Harry C. Campbell concrete plant. A group of soldiers loaded military uniforms, weapons, and ammunition onto Sheeran's truck and Sheeran drove the weapons to Orange Grove, Florida. According to Sheeran, Ferrie told him to deliver the weapons to E. Howard Hunt., even describing Hunt’s large ears. Sheeran says he delivered the weapons to Hunt and a group of anti-Castro Cubans. Pgs 162 – 163 – Sheeran says that a few days before the JFK assassination he was told by Russell Bufalino to go to a restaurant in New York, New York. At the restaurant Sheeran was given a duffel bag of what he assumed to be rifles and was instructed to take the bag to David Ferrie at the concrete plant landing strip in Baltimore, Maryland. Sheeran says that he did as instructed, delivering the bag to Ferrie and another man that Sheeran declined to name but recognized as a member of New York’s Genovese crime family. Pgs 241-242 – Sheeran claims that in October 1974 Jimmy Hoffa gave Sheeran more details about Sheeran’s November 1963 mission to Baltimore, Maryland. Hoffa allegedly told Sheeran: - The duffel bag contained high powered rifles intended for the JFK assassination - The rifles were replacements for rifles that were in the trunk of a Ford Thunderbird that was totaled in a drunk driving accident - Ferrie was delivering the replacement rifles - Actual police officers, and conspirators posing as police officers, were part of the assassination - Policemen friends of Jack Ruby were originally intended to kill Oswald, but somehow Ruby “bungled” it, and had to take care of Oswald himself - Ruby feared being tortured and murdered if he failed to kill Oswald - Mob bosses Carlos Marcello, Sam Giancana, and Santo Trafficante Jr. (Mafia boss of Florida and Cuba) were involved in the assassination - Says that all the conspirators were also involved in the Bay Of Pigs Pgs 332 – 335 – Author Charles Brandt questions Sheeran about why so many people were involved in the killing of Jimmy Hoffa. Sheeran responds that it is essentially a precautionary measure for the assassins. A single assassin would themselves be killed after the assassination just to keep things quiet, but when multiple assassins are used in a hit, the conspirators are not likely to have all the assassins killed.
  8. I never fail to wince during that scene. That punch looks so bad.
  9. I'd love to see the documentary and ask the director some questions. In my opinion, the Paines and George de Mohrenschildt are key to understanding the mechanics of the plot against JFK.
  10. So, a partial fraud maybe? Or should we reconsider Beverly Oliver entirely?
  11. I once went to an all night drive in movie festival years ago here in Atlanta. For some reason they screened El Topo. I'm guessing the person scheduling the films was momentarily possessed by a spirit of hipster mischief when making that choice because,... well, it wasn't exactly the greatest mix of filmic entertainment and audience.
  12. I'd like to see if I could get a PDF or hard copy of the edition of the Marine handbook Oswald was reportedly studying before joining the Marines himself.
  13. It would seem that clearing the images for use in an illustrated book would be an issue. I'm reminded of the legal controversy over Shepard Fairey's "Hope" poster for Obama. Most source images of people would have to be cleared and purchased, wouldn't they? And then there's the issue of some people you probably couldn't use in an illustrated narrative, like the Paines.
  14. I don't read much into Lady Bird's expression. It could be more of a pained expression than an outright smile. The wink could also be explained away in a similar fashion, but it seems that whoever wrote "not ever to be released to anyone" on the back of the picture thought it didn't appear so innocent. Thomas' expression also seems much more like a genuine smile than Lady Bird's pursed lips. In the past, I've always kind of set aside the concept of LBJ as the mastermind because there are so many people of that era who (rightly) bear a tremendous grudge against Johnson for his escalation of the Vietnam war. It seemed to me that this grudge could have possibly colored their thinking and lead to them suspecting a man that they already saw as a villain. But if one looks at the crime of killing JFK and asking who benefits, certainly LBJ would be at or very near the top of that list. We know that Johnson leaped into the cover-up immediately, and according to his statement to Walter Cronkite, didn't fully believe the conclusions of the Warren Commission in the end. To pin ultimate responsibility on the CIA or the Joint Chiefs of Staff or others high in the government would seem to acknowledge that the conspirators got lucky in that they had a Vice President waiting in the wings who could be counted on to actively support the official story once President. While it is certainly possible they did just get lucky, I tend to look with suspicion at any element of the JFK assassination that relies on luck.
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