Closing Thought–04Apr18

Today is the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.  50 Years ago today……

On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on a balcony outside the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. The 50th anniversary of his death brings with it a wave of headlines and remembrances. Among them: Bells across America will ring 39 times Wednesday night, with each chime signifying a year of King’s short life, reports CNN. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports bells will toll first at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis at 6:01pm local time—the time King was shot—with the rest of the city and country following. Some of the best coverage:

  • In an excerpt from Redemption: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Last 31 Hours published in the Guardian, Joseph Rosenbloom delves into King’s 43-minute final speech at the Mason Temple the night before his death. It returned, over and over again, to the topic of death. King recalled the 1958 incident in which a woman stabbed him at a Harlem book signing; doctors had told him that had he sneezed, the knife blade that sat perilously close to his aorta would have ended it all. Telling that story “seemed to transport him into a profound gloom about mortality—his mortality,” writes Rosenbloom, who notes that while King talked about death on many occasions, it was never in such a morose tone. “This night in Memphis, however, he seemed near panic.” The full excerpt explains why.
  • The bullet that took King’s life was fired by James Earl Ray, something that five investigations into King’s death have established. But that hasn’t eliminated the conspiracy theories, with NPR reporting that even some of King’s children have expressed serious doubt that Ray acted alone. NPR gives some reasons why—Ray, who was nabbed at a London airport, recanted his confession, for one, and lawyer William Pepper believed him. NPR has much more here.
  • has the story of the lawyers originally assigned to Ray’s case, and it has an odd start: They were flown to London to represent “Ramon George Sneyd.” They only learned it was Ray while sitting knee-to-knee in the most secure location they had available: a shower stall.
  • At CNN, John Blake asks “some of the people who knew King best”—an acclaimed biographer, a friend who was with King at the Lorraine Motel, and experts on King’s life—to imagine what the world would be like today had the bullet missed King. He presents four scenarios that he admits “may seem trivial to consider in light of King’s murder. But part of the reason so many people still deeply mourn King a half-century later is not just because of what the world lost—it’s the tantalizing possibility of what more it could have gained.” Read them here
  • CBS News asks the question, “50 years later, where do we stand?” And it gets some big names to answer that and other questions. Read reflections from Gen. Colin Powell, Loretta Lynch, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, California Sen. Kamala Harris, and musician Trombone Shorty here.
  • The AP reprints three stories from its coverage of the assassination. You can read them here.

I still think that the non-violence where it had its place was not the complete answer that MLK thought it would be… churches have turned away from the teachings of MLK….and that could explain the situation of race relations today.

We should always thank MLK for his contributions……


Where Have You Gone, George McGovern?

It is no secret that I am no war hawk…..I am a staunch anti-war supporter and for decades I have watched the Dems go from opposing war to blindly authorizing one after another……I recall the year that George McGovern won the Dem support for the presidential run…..that was a time when we Vets that opposed the war and wars and hoped that there could be a change in the way the country moved forward….we were  disappointed and very wrong…..

Where have those Dems gone since the days of McGovern?

He knew war well—well enough to know he hated it.

George McGovern was a senator from South Dakota, and he was a Democrat true liberals could admire. Though remembered as a staunch liberal and foreign policy dove, McGovern was no stranger to combat. He flew 35 missions as a B-24 pilot in Italy during World War II. He even earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for executing a heroic emergency crash landing after his bomber was damaged by German anti-aircraft fire.

Still, George McGovern was a humble man who carried the burden, and honor, of his military service with grace. Though proud of his service, he was never constrained by it. When he saw a foolish war, an immoral war—like Vietnam—he stood ready to dissent. He was an unapologetic liberal and unwavering in his antiwar stance. These days, his kind is an endangered species on Capitol Hill and in the Democratic National Committee. McGovern died in 2012. His party, and the United States, are lesser for his absence.

Americans need to find that voice that hates war and only wants what is best for the country……sadly those days are long gone replaced with the hordes of lobbyists that stand in line to own our politicians.

The result will be endless worthless wars that pervert everything in our society.

VA Makes The Headlines Again

As usual the VA is making the news….this time it is because Trump has Twitted the replacement of the head of the VA……many think it was because Shulkin got a couple of freebies….but in reality it is because of his objection to the privatization of the VA…..

In hindsight, the only thing surprising about last week’s ouster of Department of Veterans Affairs chief David Shulkin was that President Trump fired him via Twitter. The agency’s size (360,000 employees, $186 billion annual budget) is second only to that of the Pentagon. Its internal turf wars may be just as epic. Consequently, Shulkin’s downfall had less to do with a European travel junket than with a bureaucratic brawl regarding the scope and pacing of VA reform.

Shulkin’s replacement—Trump’s official physician, Rear Admiral Ronny L. Jackson—has his work cut out for him. “As a job, [VA chief] may very well be several orders of magnitude more difficult than dealing with President Trump,” writes Independent Institute Research Fellow Craig Eyermann, creator of the Government Cost Calculator at

Since the VA became a cabinet-level agency almost 30 years ago, seven of its nine chiefs have left office before their term expired. The agency’s culture of corruption goes back decades further, as the late historian and Independent Institute Research Fellow Ronald Hamowy has explained. Making the VA an effective and efficient servant of the nation’s veterans must therefore go hand in hand with ridding the agency of its toxic culture. “And so it must go,” Eyermann writes, “whether the VA wants it to be, or not.” For a sound approach to reforming the VA and many other government agencies, see Better Than Government: A New Way of Managing Life’s Risks, by Independent Institute Senior Fellow John C. Goodman.

Reform Coming to the VA, Whether It Wants This or Not, by Craig Eyermann (MyGovCost News & Blog, 4/2/18)

Failure to Provide: Healthcare at the Veterans Administration, by Ronald Hamowy (3/18/10)

Better Than Government: A New Way of Managing Life’s Risks, by John C. Goodman (10/6/16)

It is sad that the vets are nothing more than a tool to be used during a campaign and then thrown aside once the election is won.

Our veterans have been asked to do a lot and have never been given the respect they deserve….we owe the vets more than we could ever pay and yet they are lied to daily and they hope for the best….and they NEVER get it.

Oh Albania!

Albania is one of those countries that people scratch their heads when it is talked about…..

Is the US really in bed with a terrorist organization?

I ask this because MEK is what is called a “terrorist” organization……

On March 22, 2018 the former Mayor of New York and adviser to President Trump, Rudy Giuliani was in Tirana. He was invited to Albania’s capital by Maryam Rajavi, the head of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) organization, to celebrate the Iranian festival of Nowruz with the Iranian jihadist organization which Albania has hosted since 2013. In this meeting, which was secretly organized by the Mojahedin, Giuliani showed his support for some 3.000 Iranian radicals that Albania hosts. In his speech Giuliani encouraged the Mojahedin to continue their fight against the government of Iran and called for regime change in Tehran.

The gathering of the Mojahedin was also attended by three Albanian politicians. They were Pandeli Majko, Minister for the Diaspora in the present Albanian government. Majko served as Minister of the Interior during the era of secret CIA renditions in Eastern Europe when Albania was used by the CIA to rendition and torture people. Majko who has never denied his cooperation with the CIA or the existence of secret prisons in Albania, has defended the illegal renditions and torture and has criticized those who spoke against the torture chambers of the CIA.

Maybe there is something to the conspiracy theory that the US is in league with terrorists…….