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The Purple Muse


Welcome to the web site of The Purple Muse.  We offer commentary and opinion on the major issues being debated in our world today.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

More, More JFK Revisited

I have updated my article JFK Revisited, http://www.thepurplemuse.com/id36.html, to include new information obtained from reading Crime of the Century - The Kennedy Assassination from a Historian's Perspective by Michael L. Kurtz and LBJ and the Kennedy Killing by James T. Tague.
The two books are very different.  Crime of the Century includes a detailed analysis of the evidence provided to the Warren Commission and a careful analysis of the possible conclusions one can draw from the evidence.  I read the third edition, a 2013 update of a book originally written in 1982.

LBJ and the Kennedy Killing is Tague's first hand account of his role as a witness to the assassination and his evolution into a JFK assassination investigator during his life.  Tague provides his reasoning and evidence that Lyndon Johnson and his Texas based team were part of the conspiracy to kill JFK.  Tague's information is very hard to believe. But is it true?

I ordered a couple of more books related to the JFK assassination.  We will see if there is more information that will help us understand the truth.
12:00 pm          Comments

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

More JFK Revisited

I just finished reading A Farewell to Justice - Jim Garrison, JFK's Assassination and The Case That Should Have Changed History by Joan Mellen.  As a result of reading the book I have updated my article JFK Revisited, http://www.thepurplemuse.com/id36.html,
with new content based on Mellen's book.   Mellen's book was originally published in 2005 and updated in 2013.

Mellen did extensive research on Garrison's investigation and court case against Clay Shaw in New Orleans in the aftermath of JFK's assassination.  Mellen's analysis provides dramatic evidence that Garrison was on the right track.  There was a conspiracy to assassinate JFK and the CIA was in the middle of it.  She goes into great depth on the pre-assassination activities of Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, Clay Shaw and others involved in the conspiracy.  Mellen also explains how the CIA refused to provide critical information to the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassinations, effectively preventing both from discovering the truth and telling the truth to the American people.

Mellen doesn't have all the answers but she presents a tremendous amount of information about the people and events that proceeded the Kennedy assassination.  Her work demonstrates that the early 1960's were an incredibly complex period in US history with incredibly complex people leading our country.  Read my article, JFK Revisited,
http://www.thepurplemuse.com/id36.html, to get my full perspective on this topic.

I have two other books on this topic that I will be reading soon.  We will see if they any new insight on this subject.


5:33 pm          Comments

Monday, October 13, 2014

Combating Insanity

It is Columbus Day in the United States!  Why do we continue to celebrate Columbus?  Or at least some people celebrate Columbus, while others celebrate Native American Day and others are not celebrating anything.  Columbus was not the first European to land in the Americas.  This is very clear based on the historical evidence.  Columbus didn't even land in what is now the United States on any of his four voyages.  His actual name is not even Christopher Columbus.  Since Columbus was born in Italy (actually The Republic of Genoa) and lived much of his life in Spain and Portugal shouldn't we refer to him by his name in either Italian, Spanish or Portuguese?

This is a simple and hopefully a bit humorous example of the insanity that rules humanity.  Insanity is not limited to any particular country or culture.  It is not limited to any particular age or gender.  It is not limited to small minorities.  Sometimes the majority of a large group acts in an insane manner.  Humans have acted in an insane manner throughout history. Since we have the largest number of people on earth today than at any point in history it is virtually guaranteed we have more insane (or partially insane) people today that at any time in our past.

What sparked this article was an item I saw on Twitter this morning.  There is a big debate in Bangladesh on the legal minimum age of girls to get married.  There is a faction that wants to lower the legal age from 18 to 16.  This is in a country where many girls get married under 15.  The government is trying to change the culture of the nation on child marriage and many local leaders believe lowering the age to 16 would be a step backward.  No kidding!  What kind of culture wants its girls married as a young teenager?  Are these people insane?

We have wars occurring all over the world in different forms.  Some wars involve weapons, killing and massive destruction of property.  There is no justification for any of these wars.  Are the people causing and supporting these conflicts insane?  Other wars are psychological.  The people that control governments work diligently to convince their populations that they are advocating policies in their best interest, except the only people benefiting from the policies are those in or associated with the political class.  Are the leaders insane or are the people supporting those that are not acting in their long term interests insane?

How do we combat all this insanity?  How does anyone anywhere that is observing the overall situation take action to eliminate insane behavior by others?  How de we determine if it is we that are insane and the people we call insane actually the sane ones?  Where is the dividing line between sane and insane behavior and belief? 

Is there any logic in life?  Is the human mind broken?  Is there any such thing as absolute truth?  How does anyone combat insanity?




12:27 pm          Comments

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Massive New Projects and Technology

Every couple of months I read an article about somebody's idea for a massive new construction project with funding to be provided by the US government.  The projects typically include development of new technology and are very long term in nature.  There is never a discussion about the return on investment of these massive capital investment projects.  They are "great investments for the future of the country".  They will provide "high technology jobs".  If the US could put a man on the moon we can succeed at this or that project.  The proponents of the project point to our success in the past in executing massive industrial projects.

Nobody wants to discuss the financial circumstances of the US government that exist today and contrast them to the US government fiscal situation in the past when all of the great projects were executed.  The truth is that the US has created a massive debt relative to the size of its economy and it increasing the size of the debt to the economy every year.  The overall situation continues to get worse, not better.  Our government has spent our money on wars, nation building (not ours), stimulus programs, and massive expansion of entitlement programs and government guarantees.  There are massive amounts of private money available for investment in any project that is economically sound.  Some people want federal money because they know their projects don't make any financial sense but they want to build them anyway, probably for their own self interest.

Decades ago our debt was very low relative to our economy.  The US was the world's dominant economy.  Our government could afford to spend large amounts of money on unique projects and not worry about the return on investment.  If the projects failed to deliver a significant return, they would not have a big impact on the overall economy.  But today the situation is much different.  There is no money available to fund our current obligations, much less big new experiments, at the current levels of revenue.  We have negatively impacted our financial future by spending our money in areas that have provided no long term benefit and now we have no path forward to fund the new big things.

I have called for a massive restructuring of our government and its spending programs many times.  Until we execute a rational approach that cuts spending, reduces our long term obligations and increases our revenue in a rational manner there is no way massive new federal government sponsored projects with exciting new technology will go forward.  Making these types of changes takes leaders that are very far sighted and willing to tell the American people directly that near term economic pain must be part of the plan to restore our federal government to a sound fiscal approach. 

Individuals can continue to dream up exciting new ideas.  However, until our nation is willing to solve its fiscal problems the ideas will never be put into action.


3:09 pm          Comments

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Arizona and the Wild West

My wife and I recently returned from a trip to Arizona.  We combined visiting family and friends with touring some of the state's major tourist attractions.  I am always amazed, when I visit the western US,  about the vastness of our country and the incredible differences between the eastern and western states of our nation.  Arizona, like all of the western states, has stunning vistas that are truly fabulous and draw visitors from all over the world.

We divided our trip into two parts.  We spent part of our trip in Flagstaff, a central point for visiting northern Arizona, and the rest of our trip in Mesa, a convenient location for visiting the eastern half of the Phoenix metropolitan area. 

What more can be said about the beauty of the Grand Canyon?  I hope everyone gets an opportunity to visit one of natures greatest gifts to the world at sometime in their lives.  We also visited the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert and got to see more of natures beauty on display.  On our way from Flagstaff to the Petrified Forest we stopped to visit the famous Meteor Crater.  How often does an easterner get  to drive for miles on a flat straight road on a plateau that is about 5,000 feet above see level?  We also saw many Burlington Northern Santa Fe trains running along the tracks that run roughly parallel to the highway.  It was interesting to see one of Warren Buffett's large companies, through Berkshire Hathaway, in action.  We also spent a day in Sedona, another beautiful area in northern Arizona.

We visited friends in the Prescott/Prescott Valley area on our way from Flagstaff to Phoenix.  Prescott was originally developed during the 1860s near mining camps and was once the capital of the Arizona territory.  It has a colorful history like all the mining boom towns that are scattered through the western states. Some of the history has been preserved on Whiskey Row in downtown Prescott.

We visited the Goldfield Ghost Town in Apache Junction (Phoenix metro area) during our trip.  This reconstruction of a typical mining town that boomed and went bust twice is typical of many mining ghost towns throughout the west.  We purchased a wonderful painting of the area featuring the Superstition Mountains and I bought a book, Upstairs Girls - Prostitution in the American West, by Michael Rutter.  The stories of these unique women of the wild west and the men they were involved with provides some insight on what life was like throughout the west in mining camps and boom towns.  It is very hard to fully appreciate what life was like in that era.

We haven't seen all of Arizona or all of the American west or fully appreciate all of its history.  But every time we get a chance to see or learn more about the Wild West, the more I appreciate that it was a unique period in the history of our nation.


1:14 pm          Comments

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