Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Kennedy Half Century by; Larry J. Sabato

The Presidency, assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy This book was published in 2013. I mentioned I was reading it to my son Andy. He asked what 50 years meant. I couldn’t answer then but now I can. It refers to the amazing legacy that continues today and how Kennedy is revered by so many Americans of all political parties. Every President who followed Kennedy quoted Kennedy or referred to him as they attempted to govern. I remember the debates with Nixon. I was solidly in favor of Nixon and was distressed to see him defeated. There is no question in my mind that the debates were what enabled Kennedy to squeak out his victory. I was devastated until I heard his inaugural address. Not since Lincoln and FDR had I heard such encouraging words spoken. His call for all to “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country” was stirring. The entire population came together. We were energized and looked positively toward the future. The author takes us thru his brief tenure as President with emphasis on his handling of the October crisis with the Soviet Union when they brought missiles to Cuba. He began the process of improving the lives of our black citizens which at that time was a stain on our country, particularly in the South but also the entire nation. Upon his untimely death L.B.J. was able to pass historic legislation to eliminate the Jim Crow voting process that denied blacks the right to vote The author spends a considerable amount of ink in describing the assassination of Kennedy. Even today most people like me who were alive do not accept Oswald as the lone assassin. This month was the time 50 years later that all records were to be released. At the intelligent people’s urging even Trump did not release all records. There is no question in my mind that the CIA and FBI don’t want these released. I am not inferring they were responsible for his death but they have dirt under their fingernails that they don’t want us to see. Don’t you find it reprehensible that citizens are denied access to the truth? There were numerous persons who were nearby when it occurred. Some of them were never questioned by the Warren Commission. There were many unexplained happenings that were not explored. It appeared that Johnson and the Commission wanted to put this to rest by naming Oswald as the only shooter. This author missed one important point. The bullet that went into his neck was a normal bullet but the one that hit his brain shattered his head. Fragments were found in the brain matter. Only a dumdum bullet would have done that. Shells remaining at the book depository building were normal. Where did this one bullet come from? No answer was given. I will go to my grave not believing the Warren Report. As far as Vietnam is concerned there is no clear proof one way or the other that Kennedy would have backed off or accelerated as LBJ did. My humble opinion is that he would not have made it into the monumental mess that it became. The most important thing to take from reading this book is how tragic it has been to Americans. Kennedy was bringing us all together with hope for the future. With his death that was lost. No other President to follow could restore that feeling. I would grant that Reagan was the closest but even he could not duplicate that feeling of contentment that was lost. Look at how tragic our fractured country is today. Had we been able to follow Kennedy’s leadership things today would be vastly different. I need to add that the author didn’t spare Kennedy from his womanizing tendencies. It is abundantly clear there were no harassment incidents. The pleasure was mutual. I don’t say this to be flippant but there is a great difference to the charges we read about on a daily basis anymore. The Press in those days did not report on these transgressions as they do today. At any rate the vast majority of Americans were able to discount this in their new found feeling that all could be well. Upon his death Jackie coined the phrase “Camelot”. We all agreed this was a mystical time that was lost forever, never to return. This is an excellent book to read if you like history. I found this at the Tucson Public Library. Jack B. Walters November 19,2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Social Security Scam- letter to the editor

For two years we received no increase in our monthly social security checks. Next year it will go up 2% or $25. Oh I forgot, that is needed to pay for the increased cost of Medicare. As a result we will be paying income taxes on the increase we didn’t receive. If this is not a scam than what is. Jack B. Walters October 17, 2017

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Where this will end

I am writing this prematurely anticipating what will occur. Having received a great deal of attention the NFL players disrespecting our flag and national anthem will return to standing as they should have done all along. The sunshine fans that live and die depending on their team winning or losing will forgive and forget. All will be as before. I will be one of the holdouts. I will not return. They have shown who they are and what they believe. Standing erect now will only be a pretense to elicit the return of their fan’s loyalty and thereby enhancing their exorbitant way of life. Jack B. Walters October 1, 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Jefferson- A book Report

Architect of Liberty By; John Boles History has been very much on my mind. I had the opportunity to give a talk in my home town of Lockport, N.Y. I was given recognition as a Distinguished Graduate. I took the occasion to pay tribute to the educational system in Lockport and all across America in the 30’s and 40’s. We were taught to appreciate our heritage and were grateful to be American citizens. That obviously is no longer the norm. The Millennial Generation in particular doesn’t agree. The movement to destroy Civil War Monuments and change the name of buildings, Streets, etc. is reaching a crescendo. I don’t believe it will end until all of our history is erased from view. We will pretend our history never happened. The condemnation of great men because of slavery is unconscionable. Slavery was a fact of life before we became a country. Many realized it was wrong but for many reasons it remained until ended by the Civil War. Even then, for the next 100 years blacks were treated poorly, particularly in the South but the North was just as guilty. I recently purchased a book entitled Slavery and the Founders. It was a short book but after reading I had a better understanding of how ingrained slavery was at our beginning. You are probably aware of the 3/5 rule that granted a larger count of citizens in the South by including black men in the count at the 3/5 ratio. The debates as our Constitution was written included many sessions where slavery was discussed. My contention after reading is that there never would have been a new country formed if the North had insisted of ending slavery. In fact I was amazed to realize that slavery existed in every State not just the South. Gradually over the years one State after another phased it out. George Washington upon his death granted freedom to all of his slaves. While he was alive he didn’t purchase or sell any and treated them kindly. Thomas Jefferson on the other hand kept his slaves even though on many occasions during his life he proposed ending the practice. Upon his death only five were granted freedom. They were relatives of Sally Hemmings. Supposedly when they were living in Paris he promised he would if she returned. Had she stayed she would have been free by French Law. His problem was one of money. When he left Washington after serving eight years as President he was deep in debt. No matter what he attempted during the years after, he was still deep in debt when he died. One of the reasons was his support of all of his family but also his desire to make Monticello a great home. He too was kind to his slaves and treated them well. At his death they were all sold as well as the property. It was years later that the debts were finally settled. Putting the above subject aside there can be no question that Jefferson was a great man and accomplished much good for our Country. He is highly regarded as the most intelligent of all the Presidents. He never stopped learning. It was a passion to him. He did after all author The Declaration of Independence that started it all. He fought for and obtained freedom of religion in his State on Virginia and the United States as well. He founded the University of Virginia. It was while he was President that the Louisiana Purchase occurred more than doubling the size of our Country. Of great importance was his strong belief in the Constitution. His Republican Party included the people. The Federalist Party favored the British Parliamentary System with a House of Lords. The reason Jefferson stayed on for a second term was to assure our Constitution remained as written. In this he was successful. He had a remarkable life. He was kind and generous and a Patriot thru and thru. He did everything possible to nurture the new country during its infancy. We owe a deep debt of gratitude that he lived and accomplished what he did. I found this book at the Tucson Library. I recommend reading to anyone interested in our history. Jack B. Walters September 16, 2017

Thursday, September 14, 2017

President Trump changes course

President Trump has reached out to the Democratic leadership in an effort to speed up the legislation he pledged to accomplish during the campaign. The Republicans do not possess his zeal in moving these projects forward. Senator McCain proudly gave a thumb down gesture as he cast his vote to defeat the Republican effort to rectify the worst of Obama Care. I have no idea if this should have been passed or not. I am fully aware that Obama Care as enacted is tremendously expensive and is inadequate to accomplish the goal of providing health care to all of our citizens. McCain’s dramatic return from surgery supposedly to give the final vote necessary to assure passage was a cruel joke. I believe this was the tipping point for Trump. Unable to get the Republican Party to push through legislation he has turned to the Democratic Party to see if enough of them can be brought on board. I heard Senator Schumer on the floor of the Senate speaking derisively to the end that he would only co-operate if Trump gives him what he wants. This will not suffice. The Republican Party didn’t win the last election, Trump did. We also voted Republican assuming that party would jump at the chance to prove capable. Instead it has been business as usual with continuing to promise but keep delaying. Senator McConnell stated that Trump is inexperienced and doesn’t understand how things are done. Trump does understand but will not accept business as usual. Those of us who voted for him want things done and done now. The time for oration is past. The Congress took the whole month of August off. What a waste. They should be working overtime not diddling. I heard that in a study it was found that 91% of editorials were negative to Trump. He ignores that and keeps plowing ahead. We are watching and are still supportive of the President Jack B. Walters September 14, 2017

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Mr. Hansen

I couldn't agree more. I quit attending Arizona games two years ago. Getting home at midnight was not my idea of having a good time. Also, just as our team was moving the ball a very long TV commercial timeout was called. I was incensed every time. My other issue so far does not relate to college, at least as far as I know. That is not standing erect during the playing of our National Anthem. I am 89 and a member of the generation considered great by some. I quit watching Pro games last year as well. I can live without it. I still have my season basketball tickets but I anxiously scan the player lines. The first time I detect disrespect and I will give up sports altogether. There are so few of us left it probably won't matter except to us. Sincerely yours, Jack B. Walters

Friday, August 18, 2017

Chaos in Charlottesville, Virginia

The vast majority of writers, politicians and public are missing the most important point and that is the push to pretend that our history never happened. Taken to its ultimate conclusion then any statue, portrait or writing of those who lived on plantations should be deleted including Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Huston and other of our early leaders. Slavery was a fact 240 years ago and 2,000 years ago. It still exists. No decent human being living today accepts slavery. We recognize it is evil. I see a parallel between what is happening in America today and the vile antics of adherents to ISIS beliefs where they systematically destroy artifacts in the Middle East that have existed for thousands of years since they don’t conform to their belief system. Get past the universal hatred of our current President and think about the consequences as these events continue to escalate. Jack B. Walters August 17, 2017