Thursday, July 25, 2013


The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is signed.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Threat

Monday, July 22, 2013

"Obama is the Global George Zimmerman"

Dr. Cornel West says it. (Thank you, Paul)

And Helen, 2007

The wonderful Helen Thomas at the Media Reform Conference in Memphis, January 2007.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Midsummer's Dreams

Two tracks emerge. On July 1, 1963, the American Zip Code is born. On the 2nd, Juan Marichal of the San Francisco Giants and Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves each throw 16 innings of shutout ball in the longest pitchers' duel in baseball history. Lee Harvey Oswald is fired from his job as a coffee greaser on 7/19. John F. Kennedy goes on television July 25th announcing "a shaft of light has cut into the darkness": the signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. A compound near Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana is raided by local and federal agents who seize thousands of arms and ammunition on August 2nd. The arrested compound members are immediately released and will hover close to all things Dealey Plaza during the next several months. Phil Graham, owner and powerful publisher of the Washington Post and front man for the early-60s War Party, commits suicide on the 3rd. Patrick Bouvier Kennedy is born prematurely on August 7th. The Kennedys' baby dies two days later. Also on the 9th, Lee Oswald is arrested for passing out "Fair Play for Cuba" flyers before Clay Shaw's New Orleans International Trade Mart. Strangely, this absolutely insignificant arrest is given local television news coverage. The Great Train Robbery of '63 occurs at a bridge in Buckinghamshire, England, with the thieves carrying away the current equivalent of over $55,000,000. August 14th, Lee Oswald is arrested again, for fighting with New Orleans anti-Castro Cubans. Oswald's one phone call is to the local FBI office. James Meredith becomes the first person-of-color to graduate the University of Mississippi on August 18th. Incredibly, "itinerant loner" Oswald appears on radio and TV the night of the 21st, debating others on the heroism of Fidel Castro. In late-August, JFK is deceived by plotters within his own government: a series of Saigon cables wildly distort South Vietnam reality in a conspiracy to overthrow Ngo Dinh Diem's government. The summer ends with the dreamlike March on Washington. . .

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Great Americans are as rare as a desert rose this century and one of the greatest died today at the age of 92.

As a 12-year veteran of Hearst Magazines, I couldn't help be heartbroken by what would be Helen Thomas's last act of journalistic courage: her condemnation of Israel for the Marva Marmara massacre, leading to a Zionist attack on Hearst; leading to her forced public apology; leading to her forced resignation from Hearst (and from all newspapers). Daughter Vickie Hearst especially went off in her condemnation of Thomas and in her defense of the po' little besieged state of Israel, the week of the Marva Marmara massacre:

    "I urge Hearst Corporation CEO Frank Bennack to make a public apology to the Worldwide Jewish Community, assuring the Jewish people that the Hearst Corporation is not anti-Israel."

No, but it sure became anti-human. Hearst Magazines, under the cheeseball command of Cathie Black -- fully supported by the Family -- was on a 10-year slash-and-burn campaign against its own product by the time of the Thomas blackballing. Once upon a time, each Hearst title had its own cache -- different history, size, smell, paperweight, readership, cover style. Each magazine had its own turf and the EiCs would fight bloody battles to not let the scourge of advertorial ruin the day. Black & Bennack ended all diversity, and all concern with editorial corruption. As they ended Helen -- the diamond in the dungheap known as the White Press Corps.

One great American on another. Ralph Nader:
There will never be another Helen Thomas. She shattered forever one anti-woman journalistic barrier after another in the Washington press corps and rose to the top of her profession’s organizations.

Helen Thomas asked the toughest questions of Presidents and White House press secretaries and over her sixty-two year career took on sexism, racism and ageism. She endured prejudice against her ethnicity — Arab-American — and her breaking the taboo regarding the rights of dispossessed Palestinians.

She also made many friends in journalism and spoke to audiences all over the country about the responsibility of journalists to hold politicians responsible with tough, probing questions that are asked repeatedly until they are either answered or the politician is unmasked as an unaccountable coward. That is the example she set as a journalist and the recurrent theme in her three books.

Her free spirit, her courageous belief that injustice must be exposed by journalists, her congenial personality and her relentless focus (she asked former President George W. Bush and his press secretary Ari Fleischer dozens of times “Why are we in Iraq?”) will be long remembered.

Her tenacious, forthright approach to journalism stands as a stark contrast to the patsy journalism of too many of her former self-censoring White House press colleagues.

The remarkable combination of skills and perseverance will distinguish Helen Thomas as one of the giants of American journalistic history.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Dealey Plaza: A Long and Rich History


Sunday, July 14, 2013

A 148-pitch. . .

. . . .no-hitter??

And Timmy soon to be traded. . .

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hyphenated Anti-Maiden

Gary Leupp on the most sickeningly precious of the ObamaBots.