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Dr. Gregg Wager

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About Dr. Gregg Wager

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  • Birthday 09/16/1958

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    I am a composer, author, and critic. For the last decade I have written program notes for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

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  1. An interview about my career as a music journalist: https://musicjournalism.substack.com/p/gregg-wager-interview
  2. I'm drawing from my personal experience with Halberstam, because I can't find the source of Abbie Hoffman calling "Best and the Brightest" his favorite book. Back in the 1980s when I was a classical music critic with the LA Times, I had a friend a few decades older than me who was a classical music buff and worked as a probation officer in Pasadena. He had an odd assortment of young men my age who were his close friends and had been at one time on probation. He was the one who not only told me that "Best and the Brightest" was Hoffman's favorite book, but that he thought Halberstam was the "gr
  3. Prouty's account of Chiang Kai Shek's picture omitted from the Teheran Conference has always been one of my favorite examples of how the narratives of history become revised and false. The encounter between Elliott Roosevelt and Stalin still remains by and large unknown and shocking. http://www.prouty.org/coment11.html
  4. Yes, I would concur easily detecting something fishy about Halberstam's slant, although I remember reading his Fifties book without many suspicions. Didn't know much about Vann. I was in kindergarten when JFK was assassinated but remember clearly the high regard he was held under until gradually books like Halberstam's and Seymour Hersch's started to pick away at his legacy (no such picking away at Johnson or Reagan, who are much easier targets). I confess I had a sweet tooth for reading Sherman Skolnik when he was alive (and corresponding with him). He had no trouble accusing the
  5. I always felt "the Best and Brightest" was a disingenuously slanted book. Abbie Hoffman said it was his favorite book, which makes me think he was just as disingenuous.
  6. If you've ever driven a taxi cab or ambulance (or used a CB radio, for that matter), you know that there can be up to 10 open mikes at one time in a group of 50 or more drivers on the same frequency. It would not typically happen on a motorcycle, because it usually occurs when the driver drops the microphone in their lap and sits on it. Certainly, the HSCA made an embarrassing mess of many things (especially neutron activation, which has also now been thoroughly debunked). That doesn't stop me from wondering exactly what is on the Dictabelt. If it was actually made during the event, it s
  7. I have the advantage of graduating from law school, although I'm not a practicing attorney. Still, I remember my criminal law professor claiming that most practicing prosecutors in America could indict a ham sandwich for just about anything. I also notice many researchers stumbling on the cold and ruthless legalism that dead people have no rights. In other words, once LHO was dead, he no longer had a right to due process of law (including valid chains of evidence, cross examination of witnesses, facing accusers, let alone proving guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt").
  8. Years ago, I looked up Sergio Arcacha Smith's office address in Houston on Google maps and it wasn't far (within a few blocks) from the ice skating rink where David Ferrie was making all his telephone calls on 11/22.
  9. Thanks for responding, Greg, but you take a lot of space with arguments I would not spend much time on. Give me and Mr. Garrison a little more credit. Banister and Ferrie stockpiled crates of weapons stolen from Schlumberger at Banister's office. Shaw frequently showed up there with full knowledge and support of the activity and of further gun-running and training, perhaps even as a CIA handler. The FBI and at least the City of New Orleans did not recognize that the CIA could "approve" such domestic crimes under "Operation Mongoose," which included planning assassinations (especially of C
  10. If Garrison's case against Clay Shaw was frivolous, as repeatedly claimed by non-lawyers such as journalist Tom Wicker, that would be reason to blame Judge Haggerty for agreeing to try it. I've never heard of anyone ever criticizing Haggerty. As far as Garrison's case against Shaw for conspiracy, the law says he only has to show that Shaw entered into an agreement with said people for a criminal purpose. Liability for any crime committed by any conspirator that is reasonably related to the original purpose is shared by all conspirators. That's why conspiracy is called "the darling of the
  11. Haslam sometimes draws some far-fetched conclusions based on the investigating he does, which is often cursory, but he doesn't pretend to be more thorough than he is. The mystery of this violent death of Dr. Mary Sherman and the staged fire as inept cover-up makes for a compelling topic. Haslam writes an intro for Judyth Vary Baker's book, which is an entirely different style of storytelling. I'm not going to ignore this, unless someone else has a better explanation.
  12. How horrible to think comedians are now supposed to be the source of reliable information and analysis about current events and history. Jon Stewart and Steve Colbert also had an artful way of getting us to laugh at something ridiculous while moments later rolling their eyes at something they want us to dismiss as mere "conspiracy theory." Even stranger when comedians get angry and start emotionally wagging their fingers at people and ranting. What a betrayal to see John Oliver carrying on this tradition of reining in the masses. I take the Covid crisis seriously, because even if I'm wr
  13. One thing that I learned my first year in law school that appears to confuse a lot of people about Jim Garrison's case against Clay Shaw: there are different types of criminal conspiracies, and in a "chain" conspiracy, one group of people might not know exactly what another group of people are planning or doing. All Jim Garrison had to do was prove that Shaw, Oswald and others had entered into an agreement to commit a crime, and Shaw would be liable for all crimes committed by Oswald and the other conspirators that were "reasonably related" to that agreed-upon crime. That's why "conspiracy" is
  14. It's hard to deny Kesey's accomplishment as a novelist. That bus trip he took also influenced rock music from the Beatles to the Partridge Family. As for Kesey's contribution to whatever underground hippie culture of the day you want to recognize, that's something else (including the unedited film he made while traveling on the bus). Allen Ginsberg hated Timothy Leary and his ilk, but there are plenty of literary critics who don't care for beat poets like Ginsberg. Still, how does it all tie in to Oswald? I'm also curious about any new ties between Sergio Arcacha Smith and Dav
  15. When a student at USC during the 1970s, I learned quickly how hippies were duped into Libertarianism by the promise to legalize marijuana. They didn't realize that those at the top of the Libertarian pecking order were anti-FDR conservatives. John Hospers was a philosophy professor at USC and the first to run for President as a Libertarian in 1972. His lengthy book should be used as a source more often. At least one of California's initiatives in the 1970s to legalize marijuana was organized by the Libertarians. Mixing Ayn Rand and Libertarianism almost went without saying back in the 1970s, l
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