Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Adventures of a JFK Blogger

I assumed after I listed my email address after I started this research blog into the Kennedy assassination I would all kinds of interesting characters contacting me. And they did. A mixed collection of pranksters, guys with far-out theories, authors, random individual stories, and thankfully, legitimate researchers that have been around for years doing yeoman work. I knew getting into this everybody has a theory and some were going to be kooky. It is the loony ones that bring all of this ridicule and mockery from the Establishment that insists that conspiracies to kill presidents haven’t happened since Abe Lincoln went to Ford’s Theater in 1865.

I was contacted last week by one of the far-outs. This guy proposed the idea that the grassy knoll shooter was a diversion; the real kill shot came from Jackie. Brother, spare me! He provided links and all, but I never darkened the site of those pages. I wonder if some guys enjoy pulling pranks with this nonsense. Or maybe somebody else thinking I’ll bite and write on article on this subject. Needless to say, I never responded back. How can I? The only fringe topic I like to explore is the doppelganger theory. And the only reason I’m on to that is because of the evidence that there might actually have been a double of Oswald in play. It does help to iron out the conflicts in Lee Oswald’s timeline as they are legion. There is a load of high strangeness in the Kennedy assassination and sorting it all out is a quite a chore. Rabbit trails abound; it’s avoiding the rat holes you encounter along the way.

One of the lesser far-outs wrote to me about an article in Rolling Stone from years ago about Oswald showing up somewhere, and talking to some guy about LDS and how this would be big in the years to come. Of course LSD was largely unknown at the time except to the Timothy Leary bunch and the weirdoes at the CIA conducting the MK-ULTRA experiments on unsuspecting (and sometimes suspecting) souls. Of course, LSD would make its impact a few years later via the hippie/youth movement culture, but I fail to see why this matters or where it fits. It’s another distraction. I quickly move on.

I was pleased to get an email from Tommy G. Thompson. A Texas based artist now, he was attending Stripling Junior High Fort Worth in 1963 and recalls the hullaballoo that erupted when the FBI showed up. Lee’s mother Marguerite was living in a duplex right across the street from the school at the time. He says he knew assistant principle Frank Kudlaty, who he described as a “straight shooter.” Kudlaty gave his account in John Armstrong’s Harvey and Lee, of handing over Lee Oswald’s school records to the FBI the day after the assassination. Of course that raises a major problem as Oswald’s surviving school records have him attending Beauregard Junior High in New Orleans at the same time. But his brother, mother and some fellow students remember him attending Stripling in the fall of 1954. A strange incident in the annals of the investigation to be sure. Anyway, it was good to be contacted by someone so close the event at the time.

One of the more interesting and annoying encounters I’ve had was with journalist Russ Baker. He’s the author of Family of Secrets, regarding the history of the Bush family. In my piece, What Did Poppy Know And When Did He Know It?, I listed his book as a source. Shortly thereafter, I got a full-page email in which he was alternately nice and alternately anal. I received a lecture on the proper form of using references, such as how the author’s name should be listed (last name, first name, book title). Hey, it’s a blog, not a doctrinal thesis! I did take his advice on that issue and have since wrote them in proper form. He then lectured me on the context of which they were used in the relation to each other. Whoa. I had the feeling Mr. Ego Man wasn’t in the mood to share the stage with anybody else mentioned in the piece. He then went on to imply I was plagiarizing his work, which is funny as what I was writing about is publicly known, or would be known to a researchers of the JFK assassination. Then he finished off asking me to post a link on my blog to his book link on Amazon. What cheek! What am I, a free PR outlet for his book? Like he would give me a link on his site or do anything for me. Or course I passed.

I never replied and back and never heard from him again. I’m just a little blogger out here, no threat to anyone. I do respect Mr. Baker for wanting to protect his work but this approach is like trying to swat a fly with a Louisville slugger. It is akin to producing your own translation of the Bible and then putting your copyright on it (which by the way, had been done). The whole affair left me with ambivalent feelings for this man. A while back I heard his interview on the C2C AM show and Russ Baker is apparently well versed in the art of the self-promoter. At one point he made reference to “...the secrets I uncovered in my book.” Having read his book I wondered, what secrets? Virtually everything he wrote about is public knowledge or has been documented by other authors. As a JFK researcher it is familiar to me, though possibly not to the public at large on this subject. However, it is good to have all of this information on the Bush family in a single volume to study.

Though I have a hard time believing any of it, if you want to read some really wild dirt on the Bush clan then check out Sherman Skolnick. The late mud-raker’s web site is www.skolnicksreport.com. Though rarely sourced, and deeply influenced by dark conspiracies, Skolnick’s digging rages on, making Russ Baker seem like he didn’t go far enough, only looking through a dusty window into the basement Bush family intrigues; though Baker’s work is believable and competently sourced. Perhaps a deeper look into Skolnick’s work would yield some grains of truth we don’t want to face. Such as, just how deep and dark are our politics?

One valuable lesson I learned in writing articles here is to avoid other people’s pissing matches. I didn’t one time and got burned. There are two sides to every story so find out what the other says before you dig in. Or better yet, just let it be.