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Cliff Varnell

Beto's Bobby Vibe

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I wasn't trying to whitewash JPK.  I've read he made his money initially through insider trading, about infidelity with actresses during his times of film involvement.  I believed the stories about him bootlegging liquor stolen from the mob, owing them, begging some mobster for his life and having to repay them, with interest. Him paying the Chicago mob to swing the election for JFK, which RFK JR illustrates is ridiculous.

He also says this which swayed me a bit regarding JPK's image and actions.

"Despite his Irish heritage Grandpa was a shameless Anglo-phile who urged the strongest support for England against Hitler.  He asked FDR to increase shipments of all aid to Britain short of war, breaking with Lindbergh, Hearst and the American Firsters.  He abhorred Nazism, which he called the new paganism.  He condemned the fascist persecution of the Jews as "the most terrible thing I have ever heard of."  His outspoken support for a Jewish homeland led the Arab National League of Boston to brand him a "Zionist Charlie McCarthy" and he made tireless efforts to rescue Jewish refugees from the Nazi's.  After a speech...a woman approached me, "Your grandfather got my grandmother, Mary, out of Germany before WWII, I wouldn't be alive if not for him."  Historian David Nasaw chronicles how Grandpa's efforts to find safe havens for German Jews after Kristallnacht ruined his relationship with the British government - which lodged and official complaint against him to Secretary of State Cordell Hull, and ultimately with Franklin Roosevelt."      

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45 minutes ago, Ron Bulman said:

I wasn't trying to whitewash JPK.  I've read he made his money initially through insider trading, about infidelity with actresses during his times of film involvement.  I believed the stories about him bootlegging liquor stolen from the mob, owing them, begging some mobster for his life and having to repay them, with interest. Him paying the Chicago mob to swing the election for JFK, which RFK JR illustrates is ridiculous.

He also says this which swayed me a bit regarding JPK's image and actions.

"Despite his Irish heritage Grandpa was a shameless Anglo-phile who urged the strongest support for England against Hitler.  He asked FDR to increase shipments of all aid to Britain short of war, breaking with Lindbergh, Hearst and the American Firsters.  He abhorred Nazism, which he called the new paganism.  He condemned the fascist persecution of the Jews as "the most terrible thing I have ever heard of."  His outspoken support for a Jewish homeland led the Arab National League of Boston to brand him a "Zionist Charlie McCarthy" and he made tireless efforts to rescue Jewish refugees from the Nazi's.  After a speech...a woman approached me, "Your grandfather got my grandmother, Mary, out of Germany before WWII, I wouldn't be alive if not for him."  Historian David Nasaw chronicles how Grandpa's efforts to find safe havens for German Jews after Kristallnacht ruined his relationship with the British government - which lodged and official complaint against him to Secretary of State Cordell Hull, and ultimately with Franklin Roosevelt."      

Sounds like some pretty strong positive points about JPK.

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Bobby Jr does a nice job on this issue.  There were many people who thought that the USA could serve as the arsenal for England without actually entering the war.

And if you look at it in pure military terms, HItler's two mistakes which turned the war around were his nixing of Operation Sea Lion  and instead his massive invasion of Russia.  Roosevelt really wanted the USA to get into the war. 

Merle Miller has been accused by many of either falsifying or altering what Truman actually said.

Whalen's book is not bad, especially when compared to Shaw's.  But Whalen ended up being a GOP advisor to Nixon and Reagan, and his papers are at the Hoover institute, always a giveaway since that is a home base for the GOP think tanks links.

As for the Kennedys spending in the the 1960 primaries, what were they supposed to do? Not spend their money?  Back then you did not have the restrictions you did after the Watergate scandal. Does anyone think that Kennedy's competitors would not have spent the money if they had it?  But here is my point about that issue: Humphrey later said, in a quote that has been all but lost to history, it would not have made any difference.  He said JFK was at his absolute best in West Virginia, and when he was on the beam, he was pretty much unbeatable.  He had an extraordinary ability to connect with people either one on one, or in a crowd, that was simply exceptional.  BTW one of may favorite lines comes from this election:

Coal Miner to JFK: You don't look like you've worked a day in your life.

Kennedy: Compared to you I probably haven't.

Coal MIner: Well, you didn't miss much.

But to me this is really kind of pointless.  Neither JFK nor RFK ended up being an isolationist. And it was RFK who really ran the overturning of McCarthy when the Dems took over that committee.  As JFK said when advised that King's father was a Republican who was backing Nixon in 1960, "Well, we all have fathers don't we." 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Let me get to my real point.

The issue is not any kind of hagiography.  The real issue is the art and science of the hatchet job.  

What happened, and what I will examine, is the line going from Whalen's book to absurdities such as  Double Cross, Mob Lawyer and The Poison Patriarch. Where you have nutty scenarios that rival that horrendous film Winter Kills. In other words, somehow Joseph Kennedy was responsible for his son's assassination. 

The evidence used by Shaw to advance that idea is so flawed and dubious, and sometimes just specious, that its a little nutty really.  To the point I have a hard time believing he believes it. I will explain in detail this string of improbabilities in my review.  I had to read Double Cross again for this review.  Reading it and making notes, again, how can anyone believe  this book? Why would anyone want to use it in any scholarly effort?  Its a fantasy designed to make money.

So, yes we should not indulge in hagiography. But we should also be on our guard against the hatchet job.  

Edited by James DiEugenio

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37 minutes ago, James DiEugenio said:

Bobby Jr does a nice job on this issue.  There were many people who thought that the USA could serve as the arsenal for England without actually entering the war.

And if you look at it in pure military terms, HItler's two mistakes which turned the war around were his nixing of Operation Sea Lion  and instead his massive invasion of Russia.  Roosevelt really wanted the USA to get into the war. 

Merle Miller has been accused by many of either falsifying or altering what Truman actually said.

Whalen's book is not bad, especially when compared to Shaw's.  But Whalen ended up being a GOP advisor to Nixon and Reagan, and his papers are at the Hoover institute, always a giveaway since that is a home base for the GOP think tanks links.

As for the Kennedys spending in the the 1960 primaries, what were they supposed to do? Not spend their money?  Back then you did not have the restrictions you did after the Watergate scandal. Does anyone think that Kennedy's competitors would not have spent the money if they had it?  But here is my point about that issue: Humphrey later said, in a quote that has been all but lost to history, it would not have made any difference.  He said JFK was at his absolute best in West Virginia, and when he was on the beam, he was pretty much unbeatable.  He had an extraordinary ability to connect with people either one on one, or in a crowd, that was simply exceptional.  BTW one of may favorite lines comes from this election:

Coal Miner to JFK: You don't look like you've worked a day in your life.

Kennedy: Compared to you I probably haven't.

Coal MIner: Well, you didn't miss much.

But to me this is really kind of pointless.  Neither JFK nor RFK ended up being an isolationist. And it was RFK who really ran the overturning of McCarthy when the Dems took over that committee.  As JFK said when advised that King's father was a Republican who was backing Nixon in 1960, "Well, we all have fathers don't we." 

 

 

Please correct me.

Yet shortly before the 1960 election MLK's dad changed his affiliation from Nixon to Kennedy publicly in a sermon.  Which some claim influenced the Black vote positively for him and helped sway the election for him, particularly in the South. 

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On 3/16/2019 at 3:01 AM, Joseph McBride said:

O'Rourke's mother is a stepdaughter of Fred Korth, a member of LBJ's Texas machine

(including during the time of the stolen 1948 US Senate election) as well as a leading

figure in the military-industrial complex, a Vietnam War profiteer, and the disgraced center of the TFX scandal. When I pointed

this out, I got some flak from people who apparently don't want to know the backgrounds

of potential presidents they might want to vote for. We saw how that worked out with the Bush family. Most Americans

still don't know most of their actual background, which includes two U.S. presidents (Poppy Bush of the CIA and Franklin Pierce) and one unelected usurper who occupied the White House for eight years.

Did not know Beto was a step grandson of Fred Korth.  Wonder how much he knows about his step granddad?  After becoming moody and quiet he left his wife of many years in November 1963.  She divorced him in 1965.  He remarried in 1980.  Bell Helicopter prez for years after 63.  My meal ticket.

Didn't know about a Korth-Truly link either.  

It's on the ROKC site but disappeared when I tried to link it. 

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Posted (edited)

RB: Yet shortly before the 1960 election MLK's dad changed his affiliation from Nixon to Kennedy publicly in a sermon.  Which some claim influenced the Black vote positively for him and helped sway the election for him, particularly in the South. 

 

This is true, but I do not think it happened before the election.  I think it was during the election, after the Kennedys got King out of prison in Georgia. 

Nixon had a lot of prominent African Americans snookered at this time.  And this included Jackie Robinson.  I have never understood it, since Nixon and Eisenhower did pretty much nothing with the Brown v Board decision.

Once JFK became president, Bobby Kennedy went to the University of Georgia and made a speech announcing that the Kennedy administration would enforce the ruling.


 

  •  
Edited by James DiEugenio

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My view is counter-intuitive.

That Fred Korth was Beto's step-dad spotlights Korth's deeds.

That Kamala Harris sabotaged a re-opening of the RFK case spotlights the RFKA.

O'Rourke/Harris in the White House gives us all kinds of reasons to raise hell.

 

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News of Robert Francis is being suppressed in headlines on msn.  Multiple stories if you google.  Is the Mockingbird at work?  6.1 million raised first day with no national organization in place.  Bernie, with one, and old, 5.8.  Kamala Harris 1.5.   In Ohio today talking to steel workers in a bar, where's everyone else?  I hope he spends a bit on security and stay's out of pantry's.

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Posted (edited)

Joe Kennedy's anti-Semitism and isolationism and appeasement and defeatism are so

thoroughly and authoritatively documented it seems unnecessary to have to add

to that historical record. If FDR were here, he could spend

weeks giving us the details. Pointing this out is not an attack on his sons, obviously;

it helps show how far they came in reaction against him and on their own, even if

they also depended to some extent on his influence and largesse. JPK's lavish

and dubious spending in West Virginia and elsewhere in the 1960 campaign is

also abundantly documented (check out the meaning of the euphemism "walking-around money," etc.).

Hubert Humphrey, by the way, understandably was quite bitter about this at the time, since

he was sparsely funded. JFK had to overcome considerable and not irrational liberal skepticism in 1960 to get the nomination; Richard Leacock, one of the cameramen on PRIMARY and a longtime leftist, told me the crew were

for Humphrey (whose liberal bona fides were then celebrated, before

he sold out to LBJ) until the crew started watching JFK in action and realized he was a genuine

liberal, even if, as Leacock claimed, in JFK's bellicose Cold Warrior speech at the April 3, 1960, rally I attended

in Milwaukee ("We can see the campfires of the enemy

burning on distant shores," etc.), JFK was "declaring war on Vietnam." (Robert Drew

seems to have been a Kennedy partisan from the start, but the crew were the skeptics.)  Discounting Eleanor

Roosevelt's skepticism about JFK's liberalism, which Kennedy had to work hard to overcome, serves

no useful historical purpose and misses a major point in JFK's evolution and rise to power.

 

There's no point in either hagiography or hatchet jobs against JFK or RFK or even Old Joe -- that distinction is "the fallacy

of false alternatives" anyway. A nuanced history of the family is what is valuable. No president

has ever been perfect: not Washington, Lincoln, FDR -- it's an almost impossibly demanding

job for any human being -- and JFK should not be immune from analysis and criticism for

his flaws, even while we praise and admire his many virtues. Though some of JFK's

campaign rhetoric was boilerplate to convince voters he was as tough as the hardcore

anti-Commie Nixon, to disregard it is a distortion of the record. Yes, JFK was on

the right side of history about colonialism from the early postwar years, but he

had a way to go to escape more fully from the Cold War mindset of the early

1960s, which we see in his evolution from the Bay of Pigs through the Cuban

Missile Crisis and beyond. Ignoring that complex process or oversimplifying the record is not

particularly helpful in understanding that period and the pressures he had to resist and try to overcome

that led to his assassination. John Newman's book JFK AND VIETNAM documents thoroughly

the complexities of that process, and his more recent volumes are also enlightening.

 

The Richard Condon novel WINTER KILLS is an intricately witty satire of conspiracies and the "wilderness

of mirrors" into which people and a nation can fall while enmeshed in them or in trying to unravel them.

I find the film version (necessarily) less nuanced but still a sharp and often painfully hilarious black comedy

along the lines of DR. STRANGELOVE; surely it hardly needs pointing out that the film is not meant

to be a docudrama about Joe Kennedy but instead is a very dark satire along the lines of THE MANCHURIAN

CANDIDATE, one of the truly great films of the 1960s. Condon's 1959 novel THE MANCHURIAN

CANDIDATE is a brilliant and prescient book that has a lot to say about our political

system, media propaganda, and national neuroses/psychoses. I would continue

to defend Richard Whalen's solid biography of JPK, even if more discoveries have been made in the

past decades and some areas of JPK's life remain opaque and even if Whalen

may not pass someone's ideological litmus test. And I'd like to see

specific proof (if it exists) that the disturbing quote from Truman about JPK maligning FDR is (allegedly) fabricated.

Michael Beschloss's first book, KENNEDY AND ROOSEVELT: THE UNEASY ALLIANCE, remains

illuminating as well. There has not been enough written about Joe Kennedy Sr., even though he himself was responsible

for the first two Kennedy books, THE STORY OF THE FILMS and I'M FOR ROOSEVELT (I found a copy of the latter

in a used bookstore for $1.25). The title of that book proved to be rather ironic as time went on.

Edited by Joseph McBride

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 Joseph, I agree with your sentiment here.

Isn't the human evolving story of JFK and the  Kennedy family even more rich and interesting? We don't need a sanitized version and feel we have to continually run to the defense of the Kennedy's, or insist that he instinctively had the right judgment at every turn. And we don't need to overly glamorize it, or adapt it to anyone else's creepy fanboy image.

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From page 308 of The Patriarch.

"While Kennedy made no public pronouncements on the British refusal to do anything for the Jewish refugees, it clearly did not sit well with him.  This was a humanitarian crisis of the first order. And the British, like the Americans, had the responsibility to do what they could."

Nasaw then writes that Harold Ickes and Kennedy decided to see Lord Halifax about this problem. They then talked about a homeland for the refugees pouring out of Eastern Europe.  

Continuing,  "In June, Kennedy met personally with Viscount Bearsted, one of the leaders of the British Jewish community who impressed on the ambassador, as he had earlier on Lord Halifax, his sense that the Jewish problem, "Could no longer be handled by private individuals .  It has become an international question."

Kennedy then went to Roosevelt to warn him of this serious refugee problem directly, this was in 1938. (p. 322)  The author, writes, "Few, if any commentators were using language as stark as Kennedy was employing in the early summer of 1938."

 

To say that somehow we are to ignore the political orientation and the backing of commentators on the issues of the assassinations, or biography and history of those involved, is to me, simply wrong.  I have done a lot of work on this--I mean a lot of it.  That work goes back to the mid nineties.  I found out the hard way that there was a  deliberate attempt to perform these hatchet jobs on the Kennedy family.  And the effort is ongoing to this day.  As is evident in the recent American Dynasties: The Kennedys. That one was distributed by Discovery Channel, which produced  ITTC and The Ruby Connection.  If Joe does not see a connection there, well, excuse me, I do see a  connection there. The concomitant ideas are to cover up both the facts of the murders and what the men were about. 

This is why I believe that Kennedy's background prior to becoming president was, in my view, deliberately concealed for many, many years. In fact, I think that there has been a more deliberate cover up of that than the facts of the assassination.  Since once you understand that background, going all the way back to 1951 and Edmund Gullion, you can comprehend why Kennedy was never going to commit combat troops into Vietnam.  Today, I think this was a failing of John Newman's book. He never explained why Kennedy was so adamant against doing this.  Why he refused to cave at the November meetings in 1961. Once one brings Gullion into the equation, it is easier to understand his refusal.  And it explains why he did what he did in Congo, he appointed Gullion his ambassador there.  It also explains his relationship with Sukarno, and perhaps most importantly for today, with Nasser.  Which is something that no one brings up.  Again, I think these are all failings of the critical community.  Who have dwelt  for decades on Cuba and Vietnam, as if Kennedy spent a thousand days on those two subjects.  And that was it.  Well, guess what, that was not it, and everyone was wrong.  And I don't mean just a little wrong.  But I mean in a major way.

Kennedy was not a Cold Warrior.  And you can trace that back to the early fifties.  Wheras Humphrey was part of that ADA liberal anti-communist crowd. Kennedy was more sophisticated on these issues than Humphrey was. Humphrey even backed the McCarran Act clause that allowed for concentration camps for communists. He wanted to make being a member of the communist party a felony. As Kefauver said, "We do not have to abdicate the Constitution to be anti communist." This was in the mid fifties.  Humphrey also assailed the fact that the USA had given away half of Vietnam to the communists.  Humphrey simply could not have made the great Algeria speech that Kennedy made in 1957.  

And who can ever forget how Humphrey savaged McGovern in 1972?  A Republican could not have done better.

If Hubert would have won in 1960, I am not sure about him not committing combat troops into Indochina.  With Kennedy, it was simply not going to happen.   

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1 hour ago, James DiEugenio said:

  Since once you understand that background, going all the way back to 1951 and Edmund Gullion, you can comprehend why Kennedy was never going to commit combat troops into Vietnam.

 

https://en.wiktionary.org

Attributed to various military leaders, including Bernard Montgomery, Dwight Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur, the quotation has existed in various forms since the Second World War but was fixed in its present form and popularized by the 1987 movie The Princess Bride.

“Never fight a land war in Asia”.

JFK understood history.

 

Steve Thomas

 

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