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John1956PA's Journal
John1956PA's Journal
August 4, 2015

It is no longer possible to distinguish Onion satire pieces from real Rethug stories.

The absurdity of the video is beyond description. However, here are a few points which come to mind.

As Rachel stated in her debunking segment last evening, the weapon was not, as Cruz suggested, a "machine gun" which, of course, is an automatic weapon. In warfare, barrels of ground-mounted machine guns have become so hot due to repeated firing that they caused the weapon to fail because the steel of which they were made began to melt.

The hand-held automatic weapon shown in the archive video which Rachel presented displayed a flame plume from the top of its barrel. It is not known if that flame was from burning weapon oil, gases, or some other source. I am thinking that, after the weapon had been fired for about fifteen seconds, the barrel of that hand-held automatic weapon would be hot enough to sizzle a piece of pre-warmed bacon, but repeated firing would be necessary to thoroughly cook it.

The weapon which Cruz used in his video was, according to Rachel, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. I think that it would have required many consecutive firings to cook the pieces of bacon which Cruz wrapped around the rifle's barrel and caused to be held in place with the over-wrapped aluminum foil. At the end of the video, Cruz is shown unwrapping the foil and using a fork to pull a morsel from the end of the wrap and eat it. I think that the morsel which Cruz ingested was cooked more than by just the barrel heat generated by Cruz's firing. I think that the bacon which Cruz nibbled from was pre-microwaved, wrapped on the barrel, and maybe even subjected to an outside heat source.

In any case, I think that the humor which Cruz aimed for by using the weapon in that stunt was sophomoric at best.

May 16, 2015

Thinking of "Seven Days in May," both the novel and movie adaptation, on Preakness Day.

The backdrop for the story is the upcoming Preakness. Certain members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are exchanging cable transmissions, ostensibly for purposes of placing bets on the race. What they are really up to is plotting a military coup.

Inspiration for the story was derived, in part, by the revelations in 1933 by USMC General Smedley Butler that certain wealthy businessmen had approached him to learn if he would be willing to lead the county after a completed coup.

The story features the outspoken head of the Joint Chiefs, Air Force General James Matsoon Scott (ably portrayed by Burt Lancaster) who espouses a conservative hard line and who is at odds with the progressive president. The character evokes shades of real-life retired General Edwin Walker who was making speeches at conservative rallies in 1961-62.

After reading an advance copy of the novel, President John F. Kennedy was so impressed with its warning against a conservative agenda dominating the military that he prevailed upon his Hollywood contacts to have the story made into a movie.

President Kennedy did not live to see the 1964 movie release. Lee Harvey Oswald used his newly purchased Carcano carbine to shoot at retired General Walker in April 1963. He is said to have fired the same rifle on November 22, 1963, to assassinate President Kennedy.

April 20, 2015

In 1585, Tommaso Laureti completed his "Triumph of Christianity" fresco.

That fresco is the centerpiece of the images on the ceiling of the Raphael Room of the Papal Palace. The fresco suggests that Constantine ordered the destruction of pagan statures. However, in reality, Constantine was tolerant of them. The destruction of the pagan statues was accomplished by Christians operating pursuant to their own agenda.

April 17, 2015

It was an interesting race.

I recall the evening that Scoop won the NY primary. When he was interviewed after the results were in, he came off as having an old-school mindset about politics. He used his TV time to repeat his strategy of focusing on the major states, but he failed to address the voters' concerns such as inflation and the weakening job market.

An impressive candidate was Birch Bayh. Here is an excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birch_Bayh :

On the eve of the January 19, 1976 Iowa caucuses, Bayh and former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter were considered the leading candidates. Bayh ultimately finished a distant third behind Uncommitted delegates and Carter,[36] seemingly hindered by his support for women's rights. "Bayh has become the focal point of the [abortion] issue," said the executive director of the National Right to Life Committee since Bayh opposed a constitutional amendment banning abortion before his subcommittee. Liberal support did not coalesce and Bayh finished third in the New Hampshire primary and then seventh in the Massachusetts primary.

Ellen McCormick, a non-politician who ran on a pro-life platform, ran in several states and received federal matching funds. Every Sunday at Catholic Mass, the lector (i. e., lay person who read aloud) petitioned the deity to bless her campaign.

One pundit branded Frank Church and Jerry Brown as the "Wizards of the West." That was after Mo Udall had dropped out.

Covering the election for CBS was Walter Cronkite. For NBC it was David Brinkley, who proceeded to join John Chancellor as co-anchor of the Nightly News. Frank Reynolds was the anchor for ABC.

February 26, 2015

In the 1990s Jim Traficant expounded on the conflicting Mexico City reports on Oswald.

In the 1990s in his Sunday morning half-hour television show, Washington Update, Representative Traficant delved into certain disturbing questions such as the 1991 death of Danny Casolaro, a free-lance writer who investigated scandals such as the Iran-Contra Affair http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Casolaro , and variances in descriptions given by witnesses of Oswald in Mexico City in September/October 1963. According to Rep. Traficant, one witness described Oswald as "stocky." Rep. Traficant also expounded on the fact that security surveillance photographs from the date on which Oswald is said to have visited the Russian Embassy in Mexico City have disappeared.

I appreciate your post containing the article which takes O'Really and his ghost writer to task for their schlock book on the JFK assassination. For years, I have ruminated on many the the details which are so well covered in the article.

It is always interesting to find a new corner of the tragedy to explore.

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