“To this day, I have serious doubts that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.” ~ John Kerry, in an interview with Tom Brokaw

” . . . the shooting itself still has enormous cultural resonance. In this telling, it marks a wrenching transition from a calmer age of trusted verities to our vortex of post-modern angst.” ~ John Cassidy, from “A Word In Favor of J.F.K. Conspiracy Theories”

Today is the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, a day ripe with excitement and theorizing among die-hard Whovians. However, another important anniversary has just passed: the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination in Dallas. I don’t know that I’m a conspiracy theorist, but I’ve never believed that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. Grassy knoll shooter? I don’t know. But to my mind, something still doesn’t add up when it comes to disseminating the truth about November 22, 1963.

 President and Mrs. Kennedy arrive at Dallas. President Kennedy, Mrs. Kennedy, others. Dallas, TX, Love Field., 11/22/1963 Fifty years ago today, on November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy arrives in Dallas, only a short time before he was  assassinated. via the National Archives at Kansas City on Twitter

President and Mrs. Kennedy arrive at Dallas. President Kennedy, Mrs. Kennedy, others. Dallas, TX, Love Field., 11/22/1963

Fifty years ago today, on November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy arrives in Dallas, only a short time before he was  assassinated.

via the National Archives at Kansas City on Twitter

Juxtaposed JFK Assassination Photos with Contemporary Dallas

Today, November 22, 1963, is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas. Photographer Doug McCluer has created a striking series of photographs in which he recreates scenes from the assassination in contemporary Dallas.

McCluer has taken original snapshots from the JFK assassination and juxtaposed them with in their original locations. In the first photo, McCluer holds up a black and white image of Jacqueline Kennedy climbing up on the presidential limo after her husband was shot in Dallas on November 22, 1963 — exactly 50 years ago today.

The comparison between the events of that tragic day with the quiet Dallas street scenes fifty years later creates striking images that are both poignant and heartbreaking. It is considered one of the most important events in the United States as it changed the course of history forever.

“There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.” ~ Dale Carnegie

Speeches that Changed the World

  

“A speech is poetry: cadence, rhythm, imagery, sweep!  A speech reminds us that words, like children, have the power to make dance the dullest beanbag of a heart.” ~ Peggy Noonan

On Wednesday night’s broadcast of The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, Maddow delivered a mock presidential speech about the oil spill, the kind of speech that she wishes President Obama had delivered, the kind of speech I wish he had delivered. Obama’s speech was tepid. It lacked passion. It lacked decisiveness. It lacked, well it lacked the power of the person sitting in the Oval Office. 

President Kennedy's Inaugural Address

Aside from the fact that I am a liberal Democrat, I believe Barack Obama to be an extremely gifted orator. He possesses the ability to move audiences in a way that this country has not seen in many years. The two Bush presidencies left me aching for an articulate, erudite president, one who could take the presidential platform and elevate it, exploit it, invigorate it. 

I mean, “Bring it on” just does not a “Four Score” speech make. So I could appreciate what Maddow and other pundits were saying about Obama’s speech, how it did not reflect the true abilities of the man or the power of the office. 

As Maddow said, 

“You know how sometimes you get into an argument or confrontation with somebody, you can’t help afterwards thinking of all the things you wished you’d said?” Maddow said. “Well, last night after the President’s big Oval Office speech on the BP oil disaster, I had a version of that experience. I hadn’t, of course, been in an argument with the President or anything. I just couldn’t stop running tape in my head of what I wish that speech had been like, what I wish he’d said. An Oval Office address is a priceless chance to get the nation to stop what it’s doing, to stop every other TV show in the country, to get us all to pay attention all at once to this crisis and to what the President has to say about it.” 

So here is Rachel Maddow’s mock presidential speech. I wonder if Obama’s invitation to Maddow to visit the White House on Thursday had anything to do with her impassioned version . . . 

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about “Rachel Maddow on Gulf Coast Oil disaster“, posted with vodpod

More later. Peace

Music by David Bowie, “As the World Falls Down” 

A Time for Reconciliation

Two Men, Two Speeches

John McCain’s Passion

I just happened to catch John McCain’s last campaign speech on Election Day, and I have to tell you, it was pretty impassioned. His delivery was great. He had his audience. There was no mention of socialism. His message was about the issues. It was as if McCain had stepped through my Twilight Zone re-do door and had slipped back to that time before Palin and all of the silliness and nonsense and was still on point. And he was good. And I turned to Corey and commented that if he had remained that John McCain, things would probably have been much different.

Less than ten hours later, I was watching a very gracious but defeated John McCain deliver his concession speech before his supporters at The Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife Cindy by his side. He silenced boos in the crowd, and he won them over with statements such as this: “Let there be no reason now … Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.” And then he took the onus on himself: “We fought — we fought as hard as we could. And though we fell short, the failure is mine, not yours.”

The crowd responded loudly with a resounding “NO.” And I agree, somewhat. There is plenty of blame to go around, but he is the captain of his ship, and as he did in the beginning of his speech, he could have said “no,” and he could have said “stop” to his campaign at any time, but I think that it all just got away from him.

But in the end, he met his defeat with his head held high. No word on the governor, though.

 

 

Barack Obama’s Grace

If this was the President-elect’s acceptance speech, I am beyond edge-of-my seat in anticipation of his inaugural address.  This man has been graced with an ability to turn phrases in a way that so captivates and enthralls that has not been seen since the days of the truly great speakers in this world, the Churchills, the Roosevelts, the Lincolns, the Jeffersons, and back to the days of the inception of oratory: Plato, Marcus Aurelius, Socrates.

Do I exaggerate? No, I really don’t believe that I do. His voice is steeped in the classical oratorical skills of the masters. It is rich in rhythms that politicians have tried to achieve but have not quite attained. JFK was one of the few. But Obama also has that quiet dignity and a way that touches the heart of even the poorest, least-educated person in the crowd, and lets him or her know that he has not forgotten of his existence, nor will he in the days and months to come.

This kind of skill can be learned, but more often than not, for it to be perfected, it must come from a place deep within and be fostered by something that most people do not ever quite come close to achieving: true grace. That Barack Obama is the person he is today is most assuredly a testament to the people who nurtured him, who instilled the values in him, who taught him about love, respect, honor, equality, humility, bravery, the necessity of a good education, and most of all, the importance of daring to dream.

Because this man has shown us, average Americans, that it is all right to dream, and to fight for our dreams, and to do it with respect, and honor, and humility. He dared us to come along. He challenged us to be the best people that we could be, and when we wanted to take the fight down to a level that was unworthy, he reminded us that that was not what we were fighting for. He kept us focused. He kept us honorable. And in so doing, he allowed us to win with dignity, right beside him. And for that, we should all be eternally grateful to this man who started out with nothing more than intelligence and a dream and the family to help him find his way.

What an extreme honor it has been to help you in your campaign for the presidency of the United States of America, President-elect Barack Obama.

 

Grant Park Embraces Their Favorite Son

I must say that I would have sucked up my long-ingrained fear of crowds to have been in Chicago in Grant Park, or among the thousands more who spread into the loop for a crowd of approximately 240,000 people, by the fire department’s estimation, to hear President-elect Barack Obama deliver his acceptance speech.

But I have to tell you, the one thing that just slayed me, and I never would have expected this, was the Reverend Jesse Jackson, a man who is not known for his silence, just standing there with tears streaming down his face, no words needed. That was it for me.

 

 

In Closing . . .

And so, to borrow a phrase from John McCain, my friends, that’s it from me today. I’m spending the rest of this cold windy day in bed with the dogs. Won’t Malia and Sasha have fun in the White House with their new puppy? It’s has been an incredible, wonderful experience. I only wish that I had been able to begin it sooner.

I hope to have the other blog site, politicofemme, operative soon. I’ll explain more on that later, but I have high hopes for it. But for now, it’s a cup of tea and some chocolates (I’m out of twizzlers).

More later. Peace.