Tag Archives: jfk

A couple of things – Fats, MLB, JFK

Fats Domino was unique talent. It was only after I read his obituary that I really figured out how big Fats Domino truly was (no pun intended). This guy ruled the 50s like no one else. He was second only to Elvis Presley in record sales. That’s incredible. Yet, by the time that I came of age and started listening to music and buying music on my own, Fats Domino was not even in the picture. Yes, I knew all the words to Blueberry Hill and I knew the melody to Ain’t that a Shame and I’m Walkin’ but that’s it. Now, if you slow down and pay attention, you can hear Fats Domino in a lot of tunes like Paul McCartney’s, Lady Madonna. Rest in peace Fats. Here are 12 essential Fats tunes.

I know that there are a lot of baseball fans that wanted to see some other team but, I, for one, am happy that the best teams in baseball actually got to the big show. The Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers have been the best team in baseball since the opening pitch. They won more games and probably have the best pitching roster. And, the best part, is that they are truly showcasing great baseball. Tonight, they’re locked in the pitcher’s dual. It is a great thing to watch.

There are lots of things to distract us these days. Like, the fact that Donald Trump and Republicans continue to try to dismantle affordable healthcare for all Americans. Oh, wait, that’s important. Or possibly the fact that four Americans were killed in Niger. Hold on, we have troops in Niger? This is important also. This is not a distraction. We need to pay attention to this. Then there is the fact that Donald Trump really wants all of those JFK files released. Oh, yeah, right that’s the distraction. There probably hasn’t been an event in the last 75 to 80 years which is been more written about then the Kennedy assassination. It’s been written about from almost every angle possible except from outer space. Since the president is being so open and forthcoming, it would be nice to know why we can’t get fresh, clear drinking water in Puerto Rico? Why can’t we get an all-out effort to restore power?

JFK

600px-JFK_limousine

Look, I wish I had something new and exciting to say about JFK. I don’t. He was like you and me (only richer). He had problems and issues. He had chronic severe back pain and was addicted to women, beautiful women. He was on narcotics. He was also brilliant and learned quickly. He was outsmarted by the Russians. Nikita Khrushchev thought that the American playboy was stupid or can be easily manipulated. He was wrong. It was Kennedy who shined in the Cuban missile crisis. Kennedy did not understand race. He didn’t get it. It was only towards the end when he started to understand the importance of race in America.

We love conspiracy theories. We have conspiracy theories for almost everything and every phenomenon of national significance. The assassination of JFK is no different. It is hard for us to imagine that someone who was so beloved, so magical, could be struck down by a single assassin’s bullet. Therefore, it’s easier to imagine a complex conspiracy which includes the Russians, the Cubans and the Mafia. I, like many Americans, have read many books and have watched many specials on the JFK assassination. I believe that Lee Harvey Oswald shot John F. Kennedy. I believe he fired two or three shots. That’s it. I have no idea how he got out of Texas School Book Depository. Yes, there are lots of unanswered questions. There are always unanswered questions whenever you have a major tragedy which is charged with emotion; like the Virginia Tech shooting, like Columbine high school and like the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This tragedy is so large that no amount of information and facts can explain everything.

There are those that say that John F. Kennedy was a great president. I don’t know. When you look at his body of work, he said many great things. He connected with the American people like no president has in the last 50 years (with the exception of Ronald Reagan). He started a lot of great things in motion. Yet, he really did not accomplish much during his presidency. I think that his presidency was a mixed bag. I think that you could label him a solid president, a good president, but not great president.

That’s my two cents on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK.

Liberalism

I saw this on the Daily Kos yesterday. It was too good for me not to republish.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Other than references to then-contemporary politicians and election dates, this JFK speech is just as relevant today as it was in 1960.

A snippet:

I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas. It is, I believe, the faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith. For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man’s ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves.I believe also in the United States of America, in the promise that it contains and has contained throughout our history of producing a society so abundant and creative and so free and responsible that it cannot only fulfill the aspirations of its citizens, but serve equally well as a beacon for all mankind. I do not believe in a superstate. I see no magic in tax dollars which are sent to Washington and then returned. I abhor the waste and incompetence of large-scale federal bureaucracies in this administration as well as in others. I do not favor state compulsion when voluntary individual effort can do the job and do it well. But I believe in a government which acts, which exercises its full powers and full responsibilities. Government is an art and a precious obligation; and when it has a job to do, I believe it should do it. And this requires not only great ends but that we propose concrete means of achieving them.

Our responsibility is not discharged by announcement of virtuous ends. Our responsibility is to achieve these objectives with social invention, with political skill, and executive vigor. I believe for these reasons that liberalism is our best and only hope in the world today. For the liberal society is a free society, and it is at the same time and for that reason a strong society. Its strength is drawn from the will of free people committed to great ends and peacefully striving to meet them. Only liberalism, in short, can repair our national power, restore our national purpose, and liberate our national energies. And the only basic issue in the 1960 campaign is whether our government will fall in a conservative rut and die there, or whether we will move ahead in the liberal spirit of daring, of breaking new ground, of doing in our generation what Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman and Adlai Stevenson did in their time of influence and responsibility.