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Thomas Graves

A Couple of Real Gems from the "Harvey and Lee" Website

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2 hours ago, Thomas Graves said:

Tracy,

I heard a rumor they're gonna expand the theory to include a Hubert H. Oswald and his occasionally-smiling Mommy, too.

--  Tommy :sun

I would be curious to hear how they explain these photos that are neither.

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Just now, W. Tracy Parnell said:

I would be curious to hear how they explain these photos that are neither.

Tracy,

Not a problem.  They're very good at rationalizing away big-anomalies in their "theory".

It promises to be very entertaining, however. 

I better go stock up on popcorn and Red Hots for the big show!

--  Tommy :sun

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On 3/27/2017 at 7:32 PM, Thomas Graves said:

"Dear James"

Oh, I see.

Ok, well, as regards your professor, it looks to as though he was paid to say what he did.  Or had a pistol pressed against his brainy little skull, or maybe was taking a little LSD with Wavy Gravy at the time.

 

Question:  What about "Harvey's" recorded voice in the "debate" he had with Bringuier at the radio station? Here's the verbatim transcript.   http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh21/html/WH_Vol21_0329b.htm

And that recording Ernst Titovets made of him, fooling around, laughing, and talking with a phony British accent?

 

In those two recordings, Oswald speaks better English, grammatically-speaking, syntactically-speaking, and vocabulary-wise, than most Americans!

Not bad for a boy whose "mother tongue" was Hungarian, who then learned Russian, and who then learned English, huh?

--  Tommy :sun

bumped

Lee Harvey Oswald's English is better than most Americans

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On 4/13/2017 at 7:11 AM, Jim Hargrove said:

As for Russian-speaking Harvey Oswald's command of English, just look at how he wrote:

285214.jpg

The first sentence reads:

“Sorry too take so long to write but I thought sometime might have
come up but we’re still waiting.”

Note the comma splice in the second sentence.

Bumped for Tommy.

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On 4/9/2017 at 9:28 AM, Jim Hargrove said:

The best evidence that Harvey Oswald’s first language was Russian was his sheer mastery of it as a young man.  He clearly spoke Russian and read Russian literature in the Marines prior to his false defection to Russia.  When he returned, the White Russians in and around Dallas were amazed at his fluency, even though he had spent two and a half years there, mostly working full time in a factory.

In his manuscript  I AM A PATSY! I AM A PATSY!  Russian immigrant George De Mohrenschildt, who Harvey in 1963 called his closest friend, described his amazement at Harvey’s Russian fluency.

DeMohren_Russian.jpg?dl=0

For those who can’t see the graphic above, here’s what the main paragraph from this page of De Mohrenschildt's manuscript says:

Incidentally I never saw him interested in anything else except Russian
books and magazines . He said he didn't want to forget the language -
but it amazed me that he read such difficult writers like Gorki, Dostoevski,
Gogol, Tolstoi and Turgenieff - in Russian . As everyone knows Russian is
a complex language and he was supposed to have stayed in the Soviet Union
only a little over two years . He must have had some previous training and
that point had never been brought up by the Warren Committee - and it is
still puzzling to me. In my opinion Lee was a very bright person but not
a genius . He never mastered the English language yet he learned such a dif-
icult language! I taught Russian at all level in a large University, and
I never saw such a profficiency in the best senior students who constantly
listened to  Russian tapes and spoke to Russian fiends . As a matter of
fact American-born instructors never mastered Russian spoken language as
well as Lee did .

De Mohrenschildt would have made a fascinating witness at the HSCA hearings and, in fact, in early 1977 the HSCA sought to interview him. But on March 30 he was found in his home with a shotgun blast to his head. The last person to see him alive was author Edward Epstein, a close friend of CIA Counterintelligence Chief James Angleton.

There are a number of people here on the Education Forum who will undoubtedly claim there is nothing unusual about Harvey Oswald’s Russian fluency.  But that is not the view of the Russian immigrants who met him in Dallas in 1963.  No doubt the Harvey and Lee critics here will say they know better.

Bumped for Tommy.

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On 4/10/2017 at 7:12 AM, Jim Hargrove said:

George De Mohrenschildt was hardly the only White Russian immigrant in Dallas who was amazed by Harvey Oswald’s fluency in Russian.

 

From Harvey and Lee:

 

On Christmas Day, Mr. and Mrs. John (Elena) Hall visited the Oswalds at their

apartment on Elsbeth Street.166 Three days later, on Friday, December 28, Mrs. Declan

(Katya) Ford held a post-Christmas party gathering at her house in Dallas. At the request

of Jeanne DeMohrenschildt. who Mrs. Ford had known for 14 years. she invited the

Oswalds to her party.167 This was the third and last time Katya Ford would see either

of the Oswald's.

 

[….]

 

Party attendees notice Oswald's ability to speak Russian

 

Natalie Ray, one of the party attendees, said, "Oswald was very proud of the fact

that he spoke Russian so well." As a native of Russia Natalie said that she was amazed

that he had such a good command of the language.169 Other attendees of the party were

equally amazed at his proficiency in the Russian language and discussed their thoughts

with the Warren Commission:

Natalie Ray was asked by Commission attorney Wesley Liebeler, "Did he

(Oswald) speak to you in Russian?" Mrs. Ray replied, "Yes; just perfect; re­ally

surprised me .... .it's just too good speaking Russian for be such a short time,

you know .... .l said, 'How come you speak so good Russian? I been here so long

and still don't speak very well English."'

George Bouhe was asked by Liebeler, "Did Oswald's command of the Rus­-

sian language seem to be about what you would expect from him, having been

in Russia for that period of time? Would you say it was good?" Bouhe replied,

"I would say very good."170

Mrs. Teofil (Anna) Meller was asked by Liebeler, "Do you think that his com­-

mand of the Russian language was better than you would expect for the pe­-

riod of time that he had spent in Russia?" Mrs. Meller replied, "Yes; absolutely

better than I would expect."

Elena Hall was asked by Liebeler, "In your opinion, Lee did have a good

command of the Russian language?" Mrs. Hall replied, "Very good ..... "

Mrs. Dymitruk was asked by Commission attorney Albert Jenner, "He did

speak Russian?" Mrs. Dymitruk replied, "Yes; and I was really surprised--in

short time, he spoke nicely."

George DeMohrenschildt told Jenner, "He loved to speak Russian ..... he spoke

fluent Russian ..... he had a remarkable fluency in Russian ..... he preferred to

speak Russian than English any time. He always would switch from English

to Russian."

Peter Gregory told Warren Commission Representative Gerald Ford, "I

thought that Lee Oswald spoke (Russian) with a Polish accent, that is why I

asked him if he was of Polish decent."

 

--From Harvey and Lee, pp. 425-426, Copyright © 2003 by John Armstrong

Bumped for Tommy

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On 4/13/2017 at 5:11 AM, Jim Hargrove said:

As for Russian-speaking Harvey Oswald's command of English, just look at how he wrote:

285214.jpg

The first sentence reads:

“Sorry too take so long to write but I thought sometime might have
come up but we’re still waiting.”

Note the comma splice in the second sentence.

Jim,

Big deal.  Punctuation mistakes and spelling errors.  I see them practically every day on this forum!

IMHO, the above letter was written by someone with an excellent command of English syntax, grammar, and vocabulary, but who sucked (even worse than I !) at spelling and punctuation.

You and Armstrong (and the guy in the ivory tower at Yale who, having lived in Russia for the first 37 years of his life, was an "expert on Slavic Languages" but obviously quite weak in English) are all incompetent compared to me when it comes to evaluating not only Lee Harvey Oswald's ability to speak and write English, but whether or not he first learned Hungarian, then Russian, and then, finally, "a little bit of English".

Nice try, though!

--  Tommy :sun

PS  After I corrected the above quoted sentence for spelling and punctuation, this is what it looks like:  “Sorry to take so long to write. I thought something might have come up, but we’re still waiting.” Note Oswald's perfect use of syntax and grammar here.  Please do look up those terms.  You might actually learn something. 

PPS  It's highly entertaining to me that it seems whenever I want to talk about Lee Harvey Oswald's excellent English syntax, grammar, and vocabulary, all you want to talk about is his "excellent" Russian, and when I want to talk about Lee Harvey Oswald's weak Russian, you want to talk about his "weak" English ...

PPS  I've just now noticed in his last (unfortunately un-punctuated) sentence how he correctly applies a sophisticated grammar rule which I (with my brilliant verbal intelligence - LOL) didn't learn until I'd taught English in the Czech Republic for seven years.  Can you spot it?  (Most college-educated Americans can't.)  Hint:  It has to to with gerunds.  

Look that grammatical term up, if necessary.

Edited by Thomas Graves

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6 hours ago, Thomas Graves said:

Jim,

Big deal.  Punctuation mistakes and spelling errors.  I see them practically every day on this forum!

IMHO, the above letter was written by someone with an excellent command of English syntax, grammar, and vocabulary, but who sucked (even worse than I !) at spelling and punctuation.

You and Armstrong (and the guy in the ivory tower at Yale who, having lived in Russia for the first 37 years of his life, was an "expert on Slavic Languages" but obviously quite weak in English) are all incompetent compared to me when it comes to evaluating not only Lee Harvey Oswald's ability to speak and write English, but whether or not he first learned Hungarian, then Russian, and then, finally, "a little bit of English".

Nice try, though!

--  Tommy :sun

PS  After I corrected the above quoted sentence for spelling and punctuation, this is what it looks like:  Sorry to take so long to write. I thought something might have come up[, (?) -- LOL] but we’re still waiting.” Note Oswald's perfect use of syntax and grammar here.  Please do look up those terms.  You might actually learn something!

PPS  It's highly entertaining to me that it seems whenever I want to talk about Lee Harvey Oswald's excellent English syntax, grammar, and vocabulary, all you want to talk about is his "excellent" Russian, and when I want to talk about Lee Harvey Oswald's weak Russian, you want to talk about his "weak" English ...

PPS  I've just now noticed in his last (un-punctuated) sentence how he correctly applies a sophisticated grammar rule which I (with my brilliant verbal intelligence - LOL) didn't learn until I'd taught English in the Czech Republic for seven years.  Can you spot it?  (Most college-educated Americans can't.)  Hint:  It has to to with gerunds.  (Look up the grammatical term "gerund" if you dare.)

Here's the spelling and punctuated-corrected sentence: "You needn't worry about my losing American citizenship."

 

Edited and bumped already because I think the observation alluded to in my "PPPS" is very significant and proves that Lee Harvey Oswald was not only a native English speaker, but a very good one, at that.  

It will be interesting to see if anyone here can spot the sophisticated little grammar issue it refers to (or, if you prefer, to which it refers).

--  Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves

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Tommy,

Do you really believe the Official Story that an American-born high school student wrote the following?

Becaus (sic) we are moving to San Diego in the middle of this month Lee must quit school now. Also, please send by him (sic) any papers such as his birth certificate that you may have. Thank you. Sincirely, (sic) Mrs. M. Oswald." [WCE1413, p. 814]

Just askin'....

 

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16 minutes ago, Jim Hargrove said:

Tommy,

Do you really believe the Official Story that an American-born high school student wrote the following?

Becaus (sic) we are moving to San Diego in the middle of this month Lee must quit school now. Also, please send by him (sic) any papers such as his birth certificate that you may have. Thank you. Sincirely, (sic) Mrs. M. Oswald." [WCE1413, p. 814]

Just askin'....

 

Jim,

You're either living in denial or are blinded by the fact that Oswald couldn't spell or punctuate properly.  His spoken English was excellent.

--  Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves

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36 minutes ago, Jim Hargrove said:

So, Tommy....

You believe the Warren Commission on the "moving to San Diego" note?

 

Jim,

If it helps you to sleep a little more soundly, there are two or three things in the Warren Commission report which I don't believe to be true.

Sweet dreams,

-- Tommy :sun

PS  Although the sentence which has the phrase "send by him" in it might seem a bit awkward (sp? lol), let me ask you a question -- how would you have written it?

I'll give you two minutes.

Edited by Thomas Graves

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14 hours ago, Thomas Graves said:

PPS  I've just now noticed in his last (unfortunately un-punctuated) sentence how he correctly applies a sophisticated grammar rule which I (with my brilliant verbal intelligence - LOL) didn't learn until I'd taught English in the Czech Republic for seven years.  Can you spot it?  (Most college-educated Americans can't.)  Hint:  It has to to with gerunds.


When I was in college I spoke with fairly proper grammar. My two best friends graduated Summa Cum Laude, and in High school got much higher scores than I did in the English portion of the ACT test. And yet they both consistently made two grammatical mistakes that I dutifully pointed out. (Which I'm sure annoyed them.)

I have long forgotten the grammatical terms associated with the rules, but haven't forgotten the rules themselves. Here is a sample of each:

Incorrect:   Like I said, I don't understand that.
Correct:     As I said, I don't understand that.

Incorrect:  I appreciate you taking time to explain that to me.
Correct:    I appreciate your taking time to explain that to me.


It's the latter example that applies to what Tommy is referring to.

"Taking time" is a phrase that acts as a noun. So saying, "your taking time" is like saying "your dog." Because dog is also a noun.

Tommy uses the term "gerund" to describe this. So I assume that the phrase "taking time" is called a gerund. (As I said, I don't recall the grammatical terms used to describe the rules.) (Okay, I just looked into it, and indeed that phrase is called a gerund phrase. Generally speaking, a verb ending in -ing can be used as a gerund.)

Here's the last sentence in Oswald's letter:

"You needn't worry about my losing American citizenship."

"Losing American citizenship" is a gerund phrase, and so it acts as a noun. In the sentence, Oswald possesses that noun. Because he calls it "my."


FWIW, I think I learned several years later that it was no longer necessary in the minds of many grammarians that a gerund be used. Okay, I just looked up gerund in Wikipedia and found this:

The possessive construction with -ing clauses is actually very rare in present-day English. Works of fiction show a moderate frequency, but the construction is highly infrequent in other types of text

So I guess it is only in the case of possessive constructions that gerunds are no longer considered necessary. I wonder why it is still used in fictional writings but not factual writings.

 

Edited by Sandy Larsen

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1 hour ago, Sandy Larsen said:


When I was in college I spoke with fairly proper grammar. My two best friends graduated Summa Cum Laude, and in High school got much higher scores than I did in the English portion of the ACT test. And yet they both consistently made two grammatical mistakes that I dutifully pointed out. (Which I'm sure annoyed them.)

I have long forgotten the grammatical terms associated with the rules, but haven't forgotten the rule themselves. Here is a sample of each:

Incorrect:   Like I said, I don't understand that.
Correct:     As I said, I don't understand that.

Incorrect:  I appreciate you taking time to explain that to me.
Correct:    I appreciate your taking time to explain that to me.


It's the latter example that applies to what Tommy is referring to.

"Taking time" is a phrase that acts as a noun. So saying, "your taking time" is like saying "your dog." Because dog is also a noun.

Tommy uses the term "gerund" to describe this. So I assume that the phrase "taking time" is called a gerund. (As I said, I don't recall the grammatical terms used to describe the rules.) (Okay, I just looked into it, and indeed that phrase is called a gerund phrase. Generally speaking, a verb ending in -ing can be used as a gerund.)

Here's the last sentence in Oswald's letter:

"You needn't worry about my losing American citizenship."

"Losing American citizenship" is a gerund phrase, and so it acts as a noun. In the sentence, Oswald possesses that noun. Because he calls it "my."


FWIW, I think I learned several years later that it was no longer necessary in the minds of many grammarians that a gerund be used. Okay, I just looked up gerund in Wikipedia and found this:

The possessive construction with -ing clauses is actually very rare in present-day English. Works of fiction show a moderate frequency, but the construction is highly infrequent in other types of text

So I guess it is only in the case of possessive constructions that gerunds are no longer considered necessary. I wonder why it is still used in fictional writings but not factual writings.

 

Sandy,

That's probably because oftentimes the infinitive (to walk, to eat, to stand, etc, etc, etc.) form of a verb can be substituted for a gerund, and when given this choice (in the proper syntactical situation -- the substitution doesn't always work), most people opt for the infinitive over the gerund because they're unsure which form of the pronoun they should use with that damned "-ing"-ending gerund thingy.

 

Gerunds are used differently in different syntactical situations.  

 

But getting back to my original point. (Yeah, I know.  That's not a complete sentence, but I'm putting it here for dramatic effect, okay?)

To wit:  Lee Harvey Oswald had such a good grasp of English grammar that he did not make the very easy-to-make and therefore very common mistake of using the object pronoun "me" in his sentence, but correctly used the possessive pronoun "my," instead.  And (yeah, I know) why did he choose "my" over the more common (in this syntactical situation) "my"?  Because he realized that the word "losing," as he was using it in the sentence, was not a verb in its "continuous" or "progressive" "-ing" form, but one of those weirdo half-verb / half-noun gerund thingys, and he remembered the simple five-word grammar rule that my Dad told me (in a conversation in which I'd made the mistake) that "the (emphasizing the noun-like attributes of a verbish-looking "-ing" word, I suppose) gerund takes the possessive (i.e., possessive form of the pronoun instead of the object form of the pronoun."  

Once again:  "The gerund takes (i.e., requires; uses) the possessive."

"The gerund takes the possessive."

"The gerund takes the possessive."

 

Now, repeat after me:  "The gerund takes .... "

--  Tommy :sun

 

PS  As an example of the the infinitive form of a verb's not always being substitutable (is that even a word?) for a gerund in a sentence, consider this and ask yourself how these two sentences sound -- 

"You needn't worry about me to lose American citizenship."  

- AND - 

"You needn't worry about my to lose American citizenship."

Either of those work for you?  I didn't think so.

Obviously better is: "You needn't worry about me losing American citizenship."

But perfect is: "You needn't worry about my losing American citizenship."

 

PPS  Pop Quiz.  Any idea why I put an apostrophe s ('s) on the word "verb," above?

Yep.  The Gerund Takes The Possessive.  

There's hope for you yet, Grasshopper.

Edited by Thomas Graves

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4 hours ago, Thomas Graves said:

Gerunds are used differently in different syntactical situations.


Yeah, that's what I discovered when I skimmed through the Wikipedia article on gerunds. It gave me a headache... literally.

The rules for English are mind-numbingly complicated IMO. But I find that I just kinda pick it up by reading. If you read a lot of proper English, incorrect grammar starts sounding funny. I usually know how to correct it, but often don't know the reason for doing so. Other than it sounds funny.

I once took lessons in Farsi and lived in Iran for a year and a half. Now that is an easy language. It is said that there are only two exceptions to the grammatical rules. But I just see those exceptions as two additional rules. So really, the language has no exceptions. The rules are 100% consistent across the board.

And the rules are not hard to learn at all. In fact, I bought an advanced grammar book while in Iran and taught myself to say complicated sentences like, "I would have liked to have gone had I known there was still time to go." (I have no idea what you call that kind of stuff. Verb conjugation pops into my head.) Nobody in Iran talks like that and many don't understand it... it is used strictly for intellectual writings. Instead they will use simple grammar, but put it in context so that it can be properly understood. Instead of what I wrote above, they would say something like, "I would want to go at that time, if I knew there was still time to go." It's more likely, though, that they'd say something simpler like, "I wanted to go but I thought it was too late."

The hard parts about learning Farsi are 1) the huge vocabulary, 2) the Arabic alphabet, 3) which has four letters S, three letters Z, etc., thus making spelling tough, and 4) words that leave out most vowels, leaving it to the reader to figure out what vowels belongs where.

So with Farsi the grammar is a cinch and everything else is hard.

 

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