Saturday, December 20, 2014
Cuba - Cruise Ports Coming?
This week President Obama announced his plan to re-establish commercial
and diplomatic ties with Cuba. The surprise announcement reverses 50 years of formal diplomatic and economic separation
from our neighbors about 90 miles south of Florida. While I disagree with President Obama on many, if not most, issues
this is one issue where I fully support his actions. The Castro brothers have lead the communist government of
Cuba for more than 50 years and the US embargo on the island has done nothing to force a change in Cuba's political and economic
environment. Clearly the time has come for a new approach.
I fully appreciate that many Cuban-Americans, particularly the generation that escaped from Cuba decades
ago and had to rebuild their lives in the US, oppose the President's plan. The Castros and their supporters created
tremendous pain for those that left and have reportedly abused many that remained and opposed their rule. However, the
time has come for a new approach as the Castro brothers are now very old men approaching the end of their lives. As
the US reengages economically and politically with Cuba I hope that we can help create fundamental positive change in
Cuba with regard to political freedom and economic opportunities. Cuba should be the leading the leading nation of all
the Caribbean island nations, not a nation that appears to be living in the 1950s. It is possible that Cuba can
reach its potential if the US government allows its citizens to reach out to its Cuban neighbors.
I have never been to Cuba. My wife and I would love to visit Havana
and other Cuban ports via cruise ships in the years ahead. We look forward to stimulating the Cuban economy to
a small degree as tourists. Maybe we could take a taxi ride in one the 1950s American cars that are operating in Cuba.
Maybe we could buy a piece of art to help support a young Cuban artist. Maybe we could take a tour and eat
a Cuban meal. I am sure some of our fellow travelers would love to buy some Cuban cigars and drink some Cuban adult
beverages. I think that thousands of US tourists spending money and communicating with the Cuban people is guaranteed
to have some collective positive impact.
to Cuba's political system and major improvements to Cuba's economy will not come quickly. It will take years and maybe
decades before major changes will occur. However, the time to start working to create those changes is now. President
Obama made the correct decision. When will the cruise ports be ready for us to come ashore?
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Who is Unaccountable?
I just finished reading Unaccountable - How Elite Power Brokers
Corrupt our Finances, Freedom, and Security by Janine R. Wedel. Ms. Wedel's book was published a few months ago
making it very current. Unaccountable is an exploration of those people, mostly associated with the US government
in some manner, that impact our lives without being held accountable for their actions. The word "corruption"
is used many times in the book as Ms. Wedel portrays many of our current leaders on both sides of the political spectrum negatively.
The author explains how "elite" individuals employment and consultant engagements move between
the federal government, corporations, think-tanks and academia. Most of the time we don't really know what the motivations
of "experts" are when discussing issues of national importance. Are we getting an unbiased perspective
or are we getting a purposely hidden biased objective?
explains how the government has outsourced much of the work done by the defense and intelligence arms of the US government
and how this has created many opportunities for individuals to work the system for personal gain without being accountable.
While I agree that the current system is not perfect, do we really want to add thousands more employees to the federal government?
I don't. What we need to do is right size Department of Defense and intelligence agencies spending. This is an
extremely difficult task that may not be possible.
author bemoans some of the changes that have occurred in the mainstream media in recent years, namely the reduction in
investments by major newspapers in investigative journalism. Her reaction is easily understood since the business
model for all print media has changed radically in the internet era. She makes the case that investigative journalists
help keep politicians and other leaders honest. This is an area where I don't fully agree with the author.
My personal experience dealing with business media provides a different perspective. I had many experiences where supposedly
unbiased reporters purposely failed to explain the whole story or purposely skewed the story in an inaccurate manner.
If a story about my company was 50 percent accurate I considered it a success. I believe this is the reason many
people want direct access to newsmakers (as the author discusses) with no "journalist" in the middle, because news
consumers realize that many "journalists" add very little value to what is being reported and many times tell an
I believe Unaccountable
is a very useful book. It does a good job of discussing how many of today's unaccountable people operate. I have had some
personal experiences in dealing with unaccountable people.
However, the author doesn't fully discuss how and why the US has evolved into the "system" that we
have today. She doesn't talk about how the debt/credit society that has developed over the past 40 years has contributed
to unaccountability. Bloated US government spending has incentivized many individuals, organizations and businesses
to seek their share of the monster federal spending pie, either directly or indirectly. The role of the Federal
Reserve, one of the most unaccountable organizations in the US, in facilitating our debt society and our obscene Federal Government
debt is not discussed in the book. The impact of the unaccountable people in our country would not be as great if our
government and the Federal Reserve had not facilitated the debt/credit society which begs for people to attempt to grab all
they can get from government coffers.
Solving the issue of unaccountability
is a tough one. The author offers some potential solutions. As long as our government continues to spend money
it doesn't have and creates more and more debt, and the Federal Reserve continues to facilitate this process, bloated government
spending will continue be a target for Unaccountable people.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
LBJ - JFK Revisited
I believe my multi-year, nine books, many on-line videos and
websites research effort into the assassination of JFK has come to an end. I just finished reading Phillip F. Nelson's
book, LBJ The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination and updated my article JFK Revisited, http://www.thepurplemuse.com/id36.html. I don't need to read anymore books on this subject any time soon.
Mr. Nelson's book is 600
pages of synthesis of the work of many researchers as well as his own independent research. There is no question
that the assassination was a conspiracy. There is no question that the only purpose of the Warren Report was to pin
the assassination solely on Lee Harvey Oswald and not do the fundamental police work that should be done for a murder of the
President of the United States. It is extremely likely that at a minimum Lyndon Johnson knew of the assassination
plan in advance. Mr. Nelson presents strong evidence for this claim. Mr. Nelson claims that Johnson
was the architect of the assassination. Mr. Nelson's claim is very strong but is circumstantial. He brings together
the work of many researchers to prove his points.
In my opinion the strongest evidence of a conspiracy is the refusal
of the US government to release all of the remaining assassination related documents they continue to hold after 50 years.
The US government has something very important to hide. This is clear evidence of guilt in some form.
All of the researchers that have worked to fully understand the who, what and why of
the assassination over the past five decades are to be saluted. They have served a critical role in helping
our nation and the world overcome the failure of our government to be truthful regarding the events that
occurred before, during and after the assassination.
Why are the JFK assassination events that occurred over
50 years ago important? Because we are not teaching our children the truth about our history. We have
allowed our government to lie to its citizens on big things and small. The lies must stop. The integrity of our government
must be restored if our nation is to prosper. Until we know the full truth concerning JFK's assassination our national integrity
will continue to be in question.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Politics of Immigration
Tonight President Obama described the contents and attempted
to justify his "memo" to the executive branch of government that he will sign tomorrow regarding
immigration. The Republican party leaders have been making all kinds of statements regarding the legality of President
Obama's actions. The Republicans accuse Obama of abuse of power and doing things that are not constitutional.
They accuse him of choosing the lame duck session of Congress for release of his "memo" for political reasons.
According to the Republicans the sky is falling as a result of Obama's actions. The Democrats point out correctly that
prior Presidents have taken similar actions on a smaller scale. All of the political statements in recent days by both
sides accomplish nothing.
The Senate passed a bi-partisan immigration bill in 2013. The Republicans
in the House of Representatives refused to bring the bill to a vote. The House Republicans have spent the past four
years making no progress in dealing with the Democrats controlling the Senate. The Democratic leadership in the Senate has
refused to bring many House passed bills to the Senate floor for votes. We have had legislative gridlock to the ultimate
Now the Republicans have gained the majority and will establish the legislative agenda in the Senate.
They also increased their majority in the House of Representatives, effective January 2015. The time has come for the
Republicans to pass a number of major bills very rapidly and put them on the President's desk for signing or veto.
The time has come for the Republicans to present their comprehensive immigration plan in legislative form. There is
no excuse not to pass an immigration bill in the first half of 2015. Once the Republicans have a complete bill
drafted and ready for passage they can negotiate a compromise bill with President , if possible. If the President refuses
to negotiate or vetoes the bill the Republicans will have the moral authority to challenge the details of the President's
"memo" to the fullest.
The time has come for the US government to create a comprehensive immigration
plan. Our nation needs this to be done. It should have been done many years ago. There is no excuse for
our current leaders not to have a plan passed and effective into law during the first half of 2015. If they can't
or won't get the job done they should all be condemned to the dust bin of political history. This issue is simply not
that hard to fix to the satisfaction to the vast majority of the American people.
Get the job done Congress.
Get the job done President Obama.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Some books I read are exciting, some are informative and some
make me sad. Dr. Feelgood - The Shocking Story of the Doctor Who May Have Changed History by Treating and Drugging
JFK, Marilyn, Elvis, and Other Prominent Figures by Richard A. Lertzman and William J. Birnes made me sad. This
book fully explains how Dr. Max Jacobson turned President John F. Kennedy into a drug addict, a major user of methamphetamines
beginning with the 1960 election campaign through the entire period of his presidency. It should be note that other
books I have read about JFK also discuss JFK's relationship with Dr. Jacobson but the discussions are a very small aspect
of the books. Not only was JFK a drug addict, but his wife, members of his family, his friends, the Secret Service.
the FBI and CIA new about it. Perhaps other people did as well. Basically, the entire JFK presidency was a lie. JFK's
presidency was a continuous steam of lies concerning JFK's health, marriage to Jackie and his drug use.
It should be noted that the drug laws that are currently applicable to methamphetamines didn't exist into the 1960's.
They were enacted in the 1970s at least partially as a result of Dr. Jacobson's actions. Therefore, it appears that
JFK's use of the drugs wasn't illegal. However, Dr. Jacobson lost his medical license in the 1970s as a result of his
grossly excessive use of methamphetamines with his patients and illegal distribution of methamphetamines
(plus other charges) over many years.
JFK was on drugs when he met with foreign leaders, when he made major
decisions during the cold war and had control over nuclear weapons. This was clearly unacceptable. No matter how bright
JFK was or how the nation was infatuated with his vision for the future, the fact was that he was extremely negatively impaired
during his entire presidency.
This book made me sad. For everyone that thinks JFK was some kind of
hero, this book offers a sobering reality of the real JFK, the drug addict.