Nov 232013

I’m actually writing for today.  Yesterday was a mess.  When I got to the move-in interview, they had the paperwork wrong,m and when I showed them their mistake, they told me that I do not qualify for the unit after all.  After arguing for half an hour trying to explain why I do qualify, they finally put me with the Financial Services Director, who at least knew enough to realize that I am right, but needed more documentation to prove it.  I ended up having to take two more trips between their office and where I live now and their office for additional documentation.  Finally the move-in meeting was concluded, and I got the keys late in the afternoon.  From there I went to the building and measured.  All in all, I walked about two miles, had to climb this building’s horrid stairs three times, and and took four cab rides.  If the woman who helps me clean had not been with me all day to help, I would not have made it.  I returned home exhausted, but only slept a couple hours because Guitar Man went on a binge.

I have not even looked at comments, let alone answered them, so thank you to all who commented.  Today, there are no short takes.  For the next few days, we’ll just see what the days bring.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:00 (average 4:51).  To do it click here.  How did you do?





Sorry this is a day late.


  19 Responses to “Open Thread–11/23/2013”

  1. Hi TC, I'm a little behind on everything…..kind of under the weather…….So sorry you had so much trouble getting paper work done & getting "Keys" !  ….that's a lot of running back & forth. Glad you had help…..But….you do have the keys…so…now the moving begins….You never realize just how much "stuff" you have til you move ! Boxes & Boxes of "stuff" ! Hopefully you won't have to deal with any more "stupid" people. Think of how great it will be when you are all settled in ! Don't forget to sleep & eat once in awhile.

  2. Is there any evidence that he would have ended the war?   That doesn't seem like him at all to me.

    • As much as I hate to do it, I have to agree. There is no evidence to support this. He actually escalated things in Viet Nam before Johnson really ramped things up.

  3. It sounds like you went through the same type of Bureaucratic BS I went through when I applied for SS Disability. they had my record of income so screwed up they told me I owed them money. It went on for almost a year before it was finally rectified.

    Just think, it won't be long now before you are saying "Good riddance" to Guitar Man.

  4. 4:17 I thought for sure I would take a nose-dive off that short pier.

  5. Kennedy thought he had ended our injection into South Vietnam.  He was furious when he discovered that our soldiers were not acting as advisors but we dying from battles.  He then wrote another memo to have the "advisors" removed, and that was followed by his last memo on the subject.  I would need to double check myself, but I believe that was in October of 1963.  It's well known that he made a comment about Vietnam, being 12,000 miles away and posing no threat to the United States.  Once again I would urge everyone that has not read: James Douglass, "JFK. the Unspeakable, Why he died and Why it matters" (2007).  Many issues, including Vietnam are dealt with in detail.  This book does not deal with conspiracy theories or Kennedy's personal charisma.  Douglass is a historian and without being dry or boring his emphasis is on the actual history of those 3 years. Where Kennedy made enemies and who they were.  I remember one quote from the book.
    He is a little sample of the book from Project Unspeakable:

    Douglass uses the writings of his friend Trappist monk Thomas Merton as a sounding board of faith and reason throughout the story.

    "One of the awful facts of our age," Merton wrote in 1965, "is the evidence that [the world] is stricken indeed, stricken to the very core of its being by the presence of the Unspeakable. Those who are so eager to be reconciled with the world at any price must take care not to be reconciled with it under this particular aspect: as the nest of the Unspeakable. This is what too few are willing to see."
    The Unspeakable, Merton wrote, "is the void that contradicts everything that is spoken even before the words are said, the void that gets into the language of public and official declarations at the very moment when they are pronounced, and makes them ring dead with the hollowness of the abyss. It is the void out of which Eichmann drew the punctilious exactitude of his obedience."
    Put another way, Merton's term "the Unspeakable" refers to the systemic evil and its darkness and shadow that surrounds us today. It's the structures, institutions and spirit of violence, war and evil that run rampant across the globe. If we open our eyes, we see it everywhere — the Snowden revelations that our government is spying and tracking possibly every human being on the planet, our secret wars and extrajudicial assassinations, the drone bombings, the loss of civil liberties, the total sellout to corporations and weapons manufacturers, the ongoing preparations for nuclear war, the failure to serve the poor at home and abroad — not to mention our destruction of the environment and active pursuit of catastrophic climate change.
    In the 1950s and 1960s, the Unspeakable meant the war on communism, the active pursuit of global nuclear war, and war with Cuba, the Soviet Union and Vietnam. By punishing, silencing, and killing off the voices of truth, this Unspeakable evil pursued its warpath in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and Colombia and then the war on terrorism and the U.S. killings in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere.
    Through meticulous research, Douglass argues that JFK began to understand our systemic commitment to war and nuclear weapons and decided to confront it. During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, probably the most dangerous moment in human history, we came perilously close to killing millions of people in a nuclear conflagration. But JFK, with Nikita Khrushchev, chose peace instead. Then he began to take small steps to reverse our nuclear buildup and pull our troops out of Vietnam.
    Indeed, Douglass argues that because of JFK’s ongoing bad health, near-death experience on PT 109, and convictions about the flawed founding of the League of Nations, JFK had always been determined to give his life for peace, to help prevent another world war. He paid for his pursuit of peace with his very life.
    "The Unspeakable is not far away," Douglass writes in a quote we will cite in Friday's performance. "It is not somewhere out there, identical with a government that became foreign to us. The emptiness of the void, the vacuum of responsibility and compassion, is in ourselves. Our citizen denial provides the ground for the government's doctrine of 'plausible deniability.' "
    He continues:
    Kennedy's assassination is rooted in our denial of our nation's crimes in World War II that began the Cold War and the nuclear arms race. As a growing precedent to JFK's assassination by his own national security state, we U.S. citizens supported our government when it destroyed whole cities (Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki), when it protected our Cold War security by world-destructive weapons, and when it carried out the covert murders of foreign leaders with 'plausible deniability' in a way that was obvious to critical observers. By avoiding our responsibility for the escalating crimes of state done for our security, we who failed to confront the Unspeakable opened the door to JFK's assassination and its cover-up.
    In his book, Douglass asks, "Why was JFK killed?" That's a question few dare to ask. If we pursue the truth, he insists we will find hope even in the darkness. "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit," Jesus says in John's Gospel (12:24).

    In that spirit, Douglass writes:
    What Jesus was all about, what we as human beings are all about in our deepest nature, is giving our lives for one another. By bearing that witness of martyrdom, he taught, we will come to know what humanity really is in its glory, on earth as it is in heaven. A martyr is therefore a living witness to our new humanity. Was John F. Kennedy a martyr, one who in spite of contradictions gave his life as witness to a new, more peaceful humanity? Did a president of the United States, while in command of total nuclear war, detach himself enough from its power to give his life for peace? … Kennedy was not naïve. He knew the forces he was up against. Is it even conceivable that a man with such power in his hands could have laid it down and turned toward an end to the Cold War, in the knowledge he would then be, in Merton's phrase, marked out for assassination?
    "Peace need not be impractical and war need not be inevitable," JFK said at American University a few months before his assassination. He called for "a strategy of peace," not "a strategy of annihilation."
    "Is not peace, in the last analysis, basically a matter of human rights — the right to live out our lives without fear of devastation — the right to breathe air as nature provided it — the right of future generations to a healthy existence?"
    Sorry to take up so much room on this comment section, but I think it does address the question of Kennedy, peace and Vietnam.

    I am surprised that so many still linger in the realm of conspiracy.  I think we see how crimes are handled today and we can see so many mistakes made back then, not the least of which was the hasty and poor investigation of Oswald.  The idea was to make the people feel comfortable, it did not.

    If it was a conspiracy it was one of the best as all we have are theories and speculations.  No evidence, and without evidence, without proof, history will continue to record a lone assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

    Tom Cat you have definitely earned that new apartment.  People should not have go through so much aggravation, but bureaucracy seems to always be running in reverse. I'm very glad you are feeling better, if somewhat exhausted from your day of dealing with the bureaucracy. 


    • "One of the awful facts of our age," Merton wrote in 1965, "is the evidence that [the world] is stricken indeed, stricken to the very core of its being by the presence of the Unspeakable.

      Thank you misskitty,

    • Thanks Kit.  I will find this book and read it.

  6. For those who remember Fr Thomas Merton, when he was asked what he thought of JFK, this was either just after the 1960 election or soon after the inaugural of 1961.  Merton replied that he thought Kennedy was a spoiled rich kid, that had enormous potential.  If he filled that potential and became a man of peace, he would be assassinated. Merton was not a man that believed he nor any one had the other worldly ability to predict the future, he simply was stating what he, from his study of history believed would happen to anyone that attempted to alter the extremely profitable "cold war" status.   

    I shiver to think about Merton's words and the reality of what happened.  Kennedy was not allowed to do more than begin to pave the roads he believed we must walk.  The path of peace, an end to the nuclear threats and the undeniable moral imperative of equality of all people.  He believed that United States greatest weakness was that of one human being more equal than another, and that must change.


  7. 8:32

    For the next few days, we’ll just see what the days bring.

    One day at a Time TC, glad you accomplished your mission… ➡

  8. I agree with Tom's cartoon & feel it was the biggest incentive for the CIA (etc.) to end his Presidency before he could order troop withdrawl. See:

    "…In November of 1963, Kennedy told General David Shoup, commander of the Marines and the only member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff he trusted, that the first thing he'd do following the election would be to pull all troops out of Vietnam. Shoup advised his commander-in-chief, "Unless we were prepared to use a million men in a major drive, we should pull out before the war expanded beyond control." Kennedy issued National Security Action Memo (NSAM) 263 just before his death, which secretly authorized the withdrawal of 1,000 US troops from Vietnam. As history shows, NSAM 263 would never be obeyed, and the Vietnam War would escalate into an unwinnable quagmire under the LBJ administration."

  9. Thanks for your comment Kitty!

    When we heard that JFK had been assassinated, I was in Mr Daughn's grade six class, sitting in class, wearing a blue jumper and blue and white blouse.  Like most of us, I was stunned and in tears.  It felt like the world was crumbling around us.

    Kennedy dared to think what could be . . . peace . . . but there were too many monied and power interests that did not share his view.  I believe for that reason, he was assassinated and the world deprived of a man of vision. Men like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr were also men of vision who challenged the status quo of money and power.  They too were assassinated.

    Peace be upon the world.


    TC, I'm sorry that yesterday was such a bitch.  There are enough little details to work through before a move that no unnecessary SNAFUs are needed.  Take care of yourself please.  Wouldn't it be nice if 'guitar man' played air guitar!?!

  10. 4:54, surprisingly, I expected it to be  a b– , hmm, sorry, more difficult.

    Good comments all. I am currently (slowly) working on the book Miss Kitty recommends, and would like to throw out another title ( which covers many years but does touch on the assassination.

    TC, I got professionals for my last move myself.  After they had finished unloading, the supervisor said to me, "I have never seen anyone get so much stuff into a one-bedroom apartment.  You're a good packer."  Let's not even think about how long it took me to unpack it all.  But of course there was no hurry on that – once the computer was in place LOL.

  11. TC, so glad you finally got the keys.  Guitar man will soon be history!

  12. I believe Oswald was a nut acting alone. Typically American. Their delusions drive them to kill.

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