Saturday, November 23, 2013


Both Susan at I THINK THEREFORE I YAM and CW at  TILTING AT WINDMILLS posted yesterday about the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, and I left very similar comments on their blogs.

I liked some of the thoughts I'd left on their comments sections  enough that I decided to paraphrase them here. I am also lifting a little of the JFK text from their posts because I am too lazy to go research it when they already did all the hard work.

Those who are old enough to remember the day JFK was shot remember exactly what they were doing when they heard the news, and the images of that day seared into their memories.

I was too young to remember JFK- I would have just turned two when he was shot, a year younger than John John was when he saluted the casket in this famous photograph.

I was schooled in Catholic schools where JFK was revered almost as a saint. All I ever heard from the nuns was that he was the best president who ever sat in the oval office.

When I was older, I studied his presidency in some detail, and it did not live up to the hype (in my opinion).

A lot of questionable decisions (can you say Cuban Missile Crisis or Bay of Pigs?), and some luck, but no question a regrettable and tragic ending-I wish we lived in a world where people did not shoot other people they disagree with.

Was there a conspiracy? I do not know enough to comment. But there is no question that this was the ideal candidate to usher in the age of television and politics. Some of the quotes attributed to him are quite remarkable.

JFK seemed to be open-minded to both liberal and conservative ideas, something that the politicians of my adult life do not understand.

"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."

His most famous quote, also called for Americans to exercise personal responsibility and accountability rather than looking to their federal government for a safety net.

One of his actions (while I oppose it from a Constitutional viewpoint-taxpayers should not have been billed for it) was quite inspirational.

Before an American had been in space, John F. Kennedy challenged America to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

And America delivered.

I used to use this as an example of a "stretch" goal to my staff (a performance objective that is possible but may not be achievable in the near term)..

Setting aside my issues of constitutionality, this is quite an achievement. Americans striving for something, working towards a goal.

What has America strived for since?

Low-calorie Twinkies?

Hatchbacks on our SUV's that automatically adjust in height so they do not get scratched by the garage door (which is also automatic)?

Thinner iPads?

JFK had vision that inspired people-and that is a rare quality in the candidates that seem to make it through our political process.

You can't even say Obama inspired people when you recall all those teary eyes at his first inauguration.

HE did not inspire those people-any successfully black candidate would have sufficed.  

There is a funny story that Susan recounts about JFK's Berlin wall speech where the media later claimed that he'd made a linguistic faux pas by declaring to the German people Ich bin ein Berliner.

He was intending to say, "I am a Berliner," but unbeknownst to JFK, a Berliner happens to be a type of jelly donut made in Berlin, so the medial reported that he'd said "I am a jelly donut." 

Decades later it was revealed that according to multiple evaluations of the speech by Germans, the way he said it actually indicated, "I am one with the people of Berlin," which is exactly what he wanted to say.

And which is exactly how the Germans received it.

None of the ridicule leveled at him ever came from the Germans-which should have been a clue.

But even if JFK had made a grammar error, it doesn't matter.

Maybe the nuns at my school were right to revere JFK after all, even if it was for the wrong reason (they did because he was Catholic).

Because who doesn't love a jelly donut?


  1. Saying I agree with your points goes without saying, so pretend I didn't just say it.

    I too heard the jelly donut story. IMHO comes from people that think they know a language because they have Google translate. I am familiar with the use of a concordance, and know it ain't that easy.

    And you are again dead on on what we shoot for. Can you imagine nowadays cribbing an oxygen scrubber together out of duct tape a la Apollo 13?

    1. CW-not sure if the main point I was trying to make was expressed very well (see exchange with Stephen T)-I was going for contrasting how JFK inspired America to the claims that Obama has done so.

      Both are very much products of television-JFK ushered in the television era into politics, and Barry O reaping it's benefits, as well as (give credit where it's due) ushering in the internet era into politics (although Ron Paul was also making good use of the 'net, albeit to less success).

      In the sixties, Americans acted on things, and even though some of what they acted on may have been misguided, we have not seen that kind of effort since, except for the NYC Occupy movement (I don't count the demonstrations in other cities-Phoenix, for example, had a bunch of illegals waving signs for a couple of hours).

      And while I thought that movement was misguided and poorly organized (anyone know what they expected to achieve?)-Americans actually got off the couch.

      I want to type that again-they got off the couch.

      Even though things like the Peace Corp and space program were clearly overstepping the federal government's authority, JFK inspired Americans to act.

      Obama inspires them to bitch about rich people.

    There is a whole lot of reminiscing going on these days about JFK, and so much idealism overrunning the truth about the man. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail here and burst a lot of balloons. I’ll keep my remarks few and short:

    JFK’s father was an Insider, so JFK came from a family that leaned in certain ways.

    JFK was a globalist who desired to see the United Nations become the peacekeepers of the world and a sort of overlord of the various countries. He believed America should surrender some of its sovereignty (particularly its weapons) to the UN.

    And lastly, that first photo regarding JFK and his supposed opposition to the Federal Reserve is a story that has been floating around for many years but is not factual. G. Edward Griffin set the story straight about “THE JFK MYTH”. Below is a link and URL to the article I’m referring to:

    <a href="”>‘THE JFK MYTH’ by G. Edward Griffin</a>

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    POSTSCRIPT: Got your Email. Thanks! I will reply soon.

    1. McDogg-

      We've discussed JFK before, and my crticisms of his presidency go way back to my college days. I'd been raised to think of him as a savior, and even without any NWO undertones, he simply was not that great a president.

      I am well aware of the family history-did not know JFK himself was a globalist, although it is not a surprise, and certainly he implemented a lot of "redistribute the wealth" programs.

      I was trying to separate the presidency from his ability to turn a phrase and inspire.

      The space program-I agree that the Federal government had no business being in it-but I admire JFK's ability to get a country behind the idea.

      As to the Fed photo-I saw that yesterday and threw it up, but as I said in my text-I am really uninformed on the conspiracy theories, etc, so I fell for the gag. I was unaware of the Griffin book but should have done some homework before posting the pic (which I am removing after I post this comment).


      So I do not know if I succeeded in getting my point across-that with all of the claims that Obama inspires the country, the truth is that it is Obama's ethnicity that inspired people-it could have been Mike Tyson being inaugurated and people would have reacted the same, where JFK truly inspired people (although had he not been assassinated, I wonder if he'd have the same reputation).

    2. Interesting...not sure how my initials ended up in the middle of my reply...but I am sure the Republicans are to blame.

  3. As a guy who wasn't around when JFK was, the idea of America coming together for anything seems strange. It's as much our fault as the politicians. We're lazy. We don't want to have to work to make things better. We want the politicians to just do it for us. Then they can't do it (or won't) and we get mad that they haven't changed anything. But we still won't actually do anything about it. Wonderful cycle, right?

    1. Bryan-

      You just nailed the problem in America.

      Politicians KNOW that Americans would rather bitch about things after the fact rather than get off the couch and do something proactively.

      That cycle runs from local politics all the way to Washington.