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Bolo Boffin

Bolo Boffin's Journal
Bolo Boffin's Journal
November 22, 2013

"Motive is extremely important in any murder case." I disagree.

In murder mystery novels, yes. In actual prosecutions? Not so much. They help at times. But, no, if the facts on the ground show someone committed the crime and mens rae can be demonstrated without explaining a motive, then motive can be set aside.

Since Oswald can reasonably be expected to know what would happen as he fired his rifle at the President, and since he then fled the scene (demonstrating a consciousness of guilt), mens rae at his trial would have been easily demonstrated. So as far as his guilt, his motive wouldn't need to be shown at trial.

I think the possibility of Oswald being hired or put up to the assassination by a conspiracy is rather low.

Sure, we can speculate on motive. He did it to get people to pay attention to him at last. He did it so people could only ever think of him passionately again (hat tip, "Assassins&quot . He did it because Kennedy was the human face of the bloodthirsty capitalistic United States, the enemy of Castro and the Marxist revolution. He did it to punish Marina for not coming back to him in the end. He did it because he thought Castro would let him into Cuba. He did it hoping that Kennedy's right wing enemies would get the blame. He did it to finally succeed at something in his sad, pathetic life. He did it to gain a national platform in his trial. He did it because everything in his life had prepared him for that moment.

He did it because he could.

That Oswald did it, easily shown. Why he did it, we'll never know for sure. And evil and good and good/evil people swept in and took advantage of JFK's death - of course they did. They always will when a powerful and influential man dies. But benefit is not evidence of guilt, not even when they are spectacular benefits. Guilt does not rest on knowing a motive.

November 13, 2013

10 Facts About Lee Oswald That 70% of Americans Must Not Understand

These items are condensed from Vincent Bugliosi's Reclaiming History.

1. Lee Oswald killed Officer J.D. Tippit.
Witnesses saw him do this. Other witnesses saw him immediately before and after the shooting in a way that only he could have shot Tippit. Witnesses watched him flee the scene. His jacket was discovered on the path he used in flight. Witnesses watched him avoid police sirens and duck into the Texas Theater. When approached there by police, Oswald tried to pull out the same revolver he had just used to kill Tippit in order to kill another police officer. Oswald was the sole owner and possessor of the revolver used to kill J.D. Tippit.

2. Lee Oswald was the sole owner and possessor of the rifle used to assassinate President Kennedy.
The receipt for its purchase was found in his possession. Pictures of him holding the rifle were taken by his wife, some of which he had distributed and written upon. His method of transporting that rifle from its storage place in Irving to the School Book Depository is well attested to by witnesses. That rifle along with three bullet cartridges were recovered on the sixth floor after Oswald fled. There were only three shots fired that day, and a witness on the fifth floor right below the shooter heard all three shots and all three cartridges hit the floor above.

3. Oswald’s trip to Irving on Thursday night went completely against his normal routine.
In all other cases, Oswald caught a ride back to Irving on Friday and returned to Dallas on Monday morning. His reason for returning – curtain rods – was a lie: his furnished room in Dallas already had curtains. He would not speak to Marina about Kennedy, something they would always do. A noted tightwad, Oswald left over one hundred dollars and his wedding ring with Marina. Oswald told his ride, Frazier, that he would not be returning with him on Friday.

4. The so-called “magic bullet” and other large recovered fragments were all fired from Oswald’s rifle.
CE 399, also referred to as the "pristine" or "magic" bullet, and two of the large fragments, CE 567 and CE 569, were large enough to be identified as being fired from Oswald's rifle to the exclusion of all others. This was not on the basis of the faulty CBLA test, but on a comparison to the striations found on them and on a bullet fired from Oswald's rifle. Whatever path CE 399 took to get to that Parkland stretcher, it started its journey from Lee Oswald’s Carcano.

5. Oswald’s prints were discovered in the sniper’s nest on the sixth floor and on his rifle, also found hidden on the sixth floor.
His left palm and right index finger prints were found on the box that appears to have been set up to be a gun rest. Both pointed southwest, the direction the motorcade took heading down Elm. His right palm print was found on another box just behind the gunrest carton. The rifle was virtually clean of prints as if it had been wiped off, but Oswald's palm print was found on the underside of the gun barrel in a place where another part of the rifle kept it from being wiped off.

6. During interrogations, Oswald lied repeatedly to police.
Oswald lied about owning a rifle, and about owning the Mannlicher-Carcano specifically. Oswald lied about being in the backyard photo where he was holding his rifle. Oswald lied about having seen the picture before (his handwriting was found on a copy of the photo among the personal effects of a friend of his). Oswald lied about living at the place where the picture with the rifle was taken. Oswald lied about telling Wesley Frazier the curtain rod story. Oswald lied about putting a long package into Frazier's car that morning. Oswald told police the only thing he'd brought to work that morning was his lunch. Oswald lied about having lunch on the first floor with two other employees (the only one he named, James Jarman, said that he had eaten with no one). Oswald lied about where he'd bought his revolver.

7. Oswald’s verifiable conduct in the month before the assassination precludes any conspiracy.
Oswald was taking driving lessons and had applied for a learner’s permit. He’d rented a post office box for two months on November 1. He’d joined the local chapter of the ACLU. And during his trip to Irving the night before the assassination, he begged his wife to come back and live with him in Dallas. None of this speaks to his being hired as a hit man. Besides this, Oswald wasn’t the kind of person anyone would hire to commit this crime.

8. Oswald’s rifle, the one he used to kill Kennedy, was not the kind of rifle any organization would pick to commit this crime.
It was a $19 mail order rifle that only shot FMJ bullets. In contrast, James Earl Ray had a brand-new $700 rifle ($2000 in today’s money) that used soft-point bullets that would expand on impact and better assure a death shot – it’s a good reason to suspect an actual conspiracy behind MLK’s assassination. In addition, if Oswald had had a silencer on the rifle, the rifle shots may not even have been heard over the crowd noise. This would have helped him escape and thus evade interrogation which could possibly lead police back to the organization conspiring with him. This crime was committed by someone using the only weapon he had available to him.

9. Oswald’s job at the Texas School Book Depository precludes conspiracy in several ways.
Oswald had applied to several jobs, with only the TSBD on the eventual route JFK took through Dallas. Being hired at any of them would have meant no attempt would be possible. When Oswald reported for his first day at work, it was only chance that he was not assigned to an open job in another warehouse which also would have been off the route. In early November, Oswald was expecting this temporary job to soon end and applied for another position well off the eventual parade route. Only an extended fall rush and regular employees being used to put down new flooring kept Oswald at the TSBD through November 22.

10. Oswald not bringing his revolver to work on Thursday morning shows this was an impulsive move he did of his own volition.
If this had been a planned job, why would he not have gotten his revolver to the TSBD and secreted it in a place he could retrieve it from after the shooting? Instead, he had to chance that he could make it back to his rented room and get the revolver then. That shows that the decision to make the attempt on Kennedy’s life was made Thursday, but to get his rifle Oswald had to leave with Frazier that evening. There was no time to prepare for his escape. He had to go to Irving to get his rifle that night or never.

And two bonus arguments for Jack Ruby:

1. If the idea was to silence Oswald so he couldn’t give any evidence that might lead back to the conspiracy, why didn’t he take the first shot he had – Friday evening, when he was in the room with Oswald in possession of his revolver? Instead, he doesn’t shoot and lets Oswald be interrogated for two more days. How could he know he would ever get another chance to shoot Oswald?

2. If Ruby shot Oswald to keep him quiet, why did he shoot him in such a way that guaranteed his arrest – thereby creating EXACTLY the same problem he’d been hired to fix, someone under arrest who could give evidence leading back to the conspiracy?

Lee Oswald was the only shooter in Dealey Plaza that day and no one put him up to it but himself.

If you want more, I've done two threads on this topic back in Creative Speculation. They are more complete summaries of Bugliosi's summary of his argument against Oswald and a conspiracy. The first is Bugliosi: 53 Reasons It Was Lee Harvey Oswald (link) and the second is 32 Reasons and Arguments There Was No Conspiracy Behind Oswald Killing Kennedy (link).
October 19, 2013

Dictabelt Motorcycle Was NOT Part of the Kennedy Motorcade: New Sabato Book

From page 243 of Larry Sabato's new book, "The Kennedy Half Century."

New technologically advanced audio research conducted for this book on all the Dallas police recordings of the Kennedy assassination conclusively proves that the Dallas police motorcycle with the stuck microphone was not travelling as part of the presidential motorcade at the time the shots were fired at President Kennedy. Thus, the 1979 conclusion by the House Select Committee on Assassinations is wrong. Not only does the Dictabelt not prove the Committee's assertion about a shot from the grassy knoll, we can find no evidence of gunfire (on the recording) at all, and thus it cannot be used to prove that Oswald was the lone gunman or that there was more than one shooter in Dealey Plaza. Previous scientific studies have either been fundamentally flawed because of a belief that the motorcycle was an integral part of the presidential motorcade, traveling close to President Kennedy's limousine, or because of their incorrect or nonexistent identification of the officer with the stuck motorcycle.

The officer with the stuck motorcycle was in the vicinity of the Trade Mart and nowhere near Dealey Plaza. The Dictabelt does record the motorcade as it passes the stationary motorcycle.

The officer was Willie Price, who had been assigned to monitor the corner of McKinley and Harwood. After the motorcade passed him there, he was instructed to go to the Trade Mart and did so. He had been given a substitute motorcycle that morning with documented problems with a sticking microphone.

Furthermore, three of the "gunshots" are similar to nine other impulses on the Dictabelt recording. There are "no characteristics that reliably distinguish any of the impulses from the rest." These are more likely sounds from the motorcycle itself than gunshots.

The third impulse of the four considered to be gunshots by the HSCA is the one associated with the grassy knoll. There are three other impulses on the Dictabelt to which it is "nearly identical" occurring around the same time. The only reason this impulse was considered by the HSCA appears to be that it matched their timing of the Dealey Plaza gunshots.

Filtering out the sounds of the motorcycle engine make the "gunshots" disappear almost entirely.

The Dictabelt recordings are invaluable evidence of the police actions that terrible day, but the one used by the HSCA to determine conspiracy is of no use whatsoever in determining the events of Dealey Plaza.

ETA: For people interested in the forensics on the audio analysis, the white paper has been released:

September 5, 2013

Did you know the Iranian President condemned Assad for using chemical weapons?

There may be fewer worms in that can than you anticipate.

And that would be a good thing, right?

July 6, 2013

Are you a right-wing authoritarian? Take the test today!

Bob Altemeyer in his book The Authoritarians shares a 22 question test he uses to determines someone's approximate level on the Right-Wing Authoritarian scale. The scoring is a little complex, but it makes for the best way to take the test and then measure the score.

However, after trying to write it out here and make it understandable, I thought to do a search and see if someone has automated the process. They have! The link is here.


One very important instruction is about having different feelings about different parts of the same sentence. Altemeyer asks that you score each part separately and then add those numbers together to get your final answer for the statement.

This website doesn't give the score on the same scale as Altemeyer, though. It does it by percentages. My answer, for example, ranked me as 18% Authoritarian, which is rather low compared to the rest of the country. Although I'm sure I'll be one of the higher scores here at DU!

But I truly believe that almost everyone here at DU will hit around my score or lower. And that's why I offer the test - just to see where DU tends to rank. You don't have to share your exact score, or even at all. Altemeyer points out that people tend to overvalue scores like this. But I hope a few will, so we can find a general range. And I'd be surprised to find anyone here who hits above 20% at all.

(A note about the quiz site. I was able to get my score without signing up for anything. You can, too.)

ETA: Just a note for those who find the test simplistic, dumb, etc. Altemeyer addresses these kinds of questions in his book "The Authoritarians." Here's the link to the PDF:


But a couple of things: the statements had to be unambiguous to make the cut. If the statements were more subtle or ambiguous, then responses would be all over the map. And the statements are designed to test for authoritarianism, not conservatism. It's not so much the beliefs you hold that make you authoritarian, whether conservative or liberal. It's how far you think you can enforce your personal or societal beliefs on other people. You could, for example, believe that polygamy was a sin but if others wished to engage in it, it was none of your business. That's a conservative view, but not an authoritarian one.

Also, Altemeyer is using the term "right" in "right wing authoritarian" in a non-political sense. It's not conservative, right wing politics he's after, but the notion of being correct. From the PDF, "I’m using the word “right” in one of its earliest meanings, for in
Old English “riht”(pronounced “writ”) as an adjective meant lawful, proper, correct, doing what the authorities said."

May 18, 2013

The IG report also said most of the Tea Party-type groups would have been selected

with an impartial standard.

The IG found 91 out of the 296 potential political applications that did not have any indications of significant political campaign intervention. That's 31% and that seems high. However, the IRS disputed that finding for a number of reasons, and the IG conceded in a footnote that when additional information was sent in by the groups, evidence of significant political campaign intervention was found in a "number" of those 91. How many, the IG did not say.

However, in another footnote, the IG also revealed that only 17% of the 91 "indication-free" applications were Tea Party-type organizations. That would be about 15. Using the figures in the OP, 72 plus 11 plus 13 equals 96 Tea Party-type groups.

So out of 96 of these improperly targeted groups, 81 of them would have been selected if an impartial standard had been used. That's 84% of them, the vast majority. When the IRS used the improper standards to flag the Tea Party-type groups, it was the equivalent of the LAPD framing OJ Simpson.

April 1, 2013

32 Reasons and Arguments There Was No Conspiracy Behind Oswald Killing Kennedy

Bugliosi's book Reclaiming History can be divided into three parts. The first, "Four Days In November," named after the 1964 documentary film, recounts the timeline of events as can best be determined by all the sources Bugliosi had available to him.

The second part concerned the evidence that Oswald was the person who killed John F. Kennedy. After extensive treatments of various issues, he sums up that evidence with 53 pieces of evidence that together show Oswald's guilt and culpability for killing JFK. He owned and was the sole possessor of both weapons involved in his crimes, the JFK assassination and the murder of Officer Tippit. His actions before and after show his planning and his flight from the JFK assassination. The physical evidence ties him and only him to the crimes. Witnesses saw him in the commission of both crimes. And his lies during interrogation sealed the picture of his guilt.

The third part concerns the various allegations that Oswald was involved in a conspiracy to kill JFK. Again, after going through many issues on the subject, Bugliosi wraps up this final part with a summation of the reasons and arguments showing that Oswald acted alone. Those 32 reasons are what I shall summarize in this thread, each reason getting its own subthread.

March 17, 2013

Bugliosi: 53 Reasons It Was Lee Harvey Oswald

This will be a summary of the evidence against Lee Harvey Oswald, as compiled by Vincent Bugliosi in his book Reclaiming History.

No doubt a few of these will be dismissed as lightweight stuff by conspiracy theorists. It is the totality of the evidence we are looking at here, though. It's the way they work together to demonstrate Oswald's guilt. His actions before, during, and after the assassination, his possession of the two murder weapons, his many lies to others, all of it shows his guilt. Most importantly, all of it is from his own volition. No one made Oswald go back to Irving on a day completely outside his habit. No one made Oswald have his cab driver drive past his house. No one forced Oswald to shoot Officer Tippit. This is him: what he did.

And so, the evidence demonstrating the guilt of Lee Harvey Oswald.

(Note: I'll make a post for each one under this OP. I won't finish them all today! But they will be finished by November.)

April 21, 2012

The Ballad of Mitt Romney (to the tune of The Ballad of John Henry)

When Mitt Romney was a little baby,
Just a sittn' on his daddy's knee,
Said, "The Keystone XL on that oil shale flow
Gonna be the death of me, Lord God
Going to be the death of me."

Well Mitt Romney said to the Captain,
I'm gonna take a little trip downtown
Get me a thirty pound hammer with that nine foot handle
I'll beat your communism down, Lord God
I'll beat your communism down.

Well Mitt Romney hammered on that pipeline
Till his hammer was striking fire
And the very last words that I heard that fella say was
No 7-Eleven cookie 'for I die, Lord God
No 7-Eleven cookie 'for I die.

Well they carried him down to the graveyard
And they buried him in the sand
And every gallon of shale a bubblin' on by
It cried out, "There lies a steel drivin' man, Lord God
There lies a steel drivin' man."

Well there's some say he came from Mexico
There's some say Michigan
Well I don't give a damn where that poor fella was from
You know that, he was a steel drivin' man, Lord God
Mitt Romney was a steel drivin' man.

Well when Mitt Romney was a little baby,
Just a sittn' on his daddy's knee,
Said, "The Keystone XL on that oil shale flow
Gonna be the death of me, Lord God
Going to be the death of me."
April 14, 2012

Obama and ENDA: How about helping him get it passed?

Lots of disappointed people these days with the President over his not signing an executive order than would bar discrimination against gay and lesbian workers in federal contractors, and I'm one of them. True, this one executive order doesn't fix everything the actual ENDA law would, but it would at least be something, right?

However, the administration has said again and again that an EO would not be effective enough for the President's goals, and from what I'm seeing, it might even be counter productive. From the 4/12 press briefing:

Again, I think that the DADT repeal is instructive here in terms of the approach that we’re taking at this time. And while it is not our usual practice to discuss executive orders that may or may not be under consideration, we do not expect that an EO on LGBT non-discrimination for federal contractors will be issued at this time. We support, as I just said, legislation that has been introduced -- the Employment Non-Discrimination Act -- and we will continue to work with congressional supporters to build -- sponsors, rather, to build support for it.

What that paragraph says when you read between the lines is that the opposition to the President signing an EO on LGBT non-discrimination for federal contractors is coming from Congress. Jay Carney is being as politic as possible in saying it, but it's right there. There's an approach that's similar to the DADT repeal (another situation where an EO was held back at the request of Congress so they could get the votes together for the repeal). Here, it's the same thing.

So if you want an EO, call your Congress critters and find out who's the holdup. If you can't change their mind, you can at least get them on the record as to why they oppose an EO for federal contractors. Is ENDA broadly popular among the American populace? Is the limited EO? Great! Tell them that. Have your facts and your polls in line and cite them in your letters and your calls.

Or alternately, you could be working to implement the plan of ENDA's sponsors as described by Carney:

We’re deeply committed to working hand-in-hand with partners in the LGBT community on a number of fronts to build the case for employment non-discrimination policies including by complementing the existing body of compelling research with government-backed data and analysis, building a coalition of key stakeholders and decision-makers, directly engaging with and educating all sectors of the business community -- from major corporations to contractors to small business -- and raising public awareness about the human and financial costs of discrimination in the work force.

Tell your stories of discrimination in the work force. Tell the ones you've experienced and the ones you've observed. Talk about the human and financial costs to everyone who will listen -- most especially in letters or phone calls to your Congress critters. But do it here as well, in this thread, in other threads, on Facebook, in family meetings, wherever you can find an audience willing to listen, and maybe a few not that willing as well!

Get into a local gay rights group and find out what you can do to advance the legislation. If you can help complement the existing body of compelling research, do that! Talk to business leaders about who they hire and who they fire.

Every minute spent resenting President Obama for not signing a band-aid EO is a minute wasted. Do you want to end all the discrimination for good? Or do you want to hate on Obama, the only 2012 major party candidate who would sign ENDA the minute it hits his desk? Which is going to get us down the road to ENDA faster?

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About Bolo Boffin

I am done resisting conspiratorial thinking and the political pessimism it engenders here. I am going to be part of the solution somewhere else. You can find me on Twitter as @BoloBoffin. Some of my debunking of 9/11 Truth nonsense can be found at ae911truth.info. Vote progressive. Vote Democratic Party.
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