Nov 30, 2014

What Would Frank Sesno Say Now: The History Channel and The JFK Assassination

Do you remember.......

It was the 40th anniversary of the JFK assassination.

The History Chanel ran a week of special shows..........Remember:  A week of The Men Who Killed Kennedy with the extended version including a show featuring Barr McCllellan talking about the involvement of LBJ in the JFK murder.

There was also a chapter featuring Judyth Vary Baker and her relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald.

One very unusual show about an incident at the Cal-Neva Lodge where a horrible meeting between Frank Sinatra, Sam Giancana and Marilyn Monroe took place.

Apparently Marilyn was being influenced not to speak of information she may have had about the Kennedy men in a strong arm sort of way.  It is impossible to forget because the show also included an interview with the gentleman who had developed the pictures to go with the incident--he gave the impression he was completely disgusted and saddened by the event.

Never forgetting that show about Marilyn Monroe--it left an awful feeling.

Never seeing that show again and unable to find it.......

So what was the reason those kind of shows suggesting a conspiracy left television?

Are grants for historical shows easier to obtain when they do not show the possibility of a conspiracy.

Was it the change in ownership of those stations?

Do you remember when Frank Sesno headed a panel on the History Channel featuring historian Robert Dallek insisting there was absolutely no evidence of any connection between LBJ and the assassination.

Are things different 11 years later on the 51st anniversary of the Dallas tragedy.

Recently watching a video on you-tube of a recent radio interview with Barr McClellan talking about his book on LBJ:  Blood, Money & Power How LBJ Killed JFK

Recently listening to an interview from Roger Stone talking about his book,
The Man Who Killed Kennedy:  The Case Against LBJ

Here is an interview with Roger Stone on Book TV talking about LBJ:

Joseph McBride talking about the corruption of the Dallas police department and the clumsy handling of the Oswald investigation.

So motivated by the viewing one could not resist commenting on the Facebook page of Barr McClellan:

Dear Barr....Really enjoyed your talk on you were interviewed on a radio show and I put it on my blog, the ronnie republic.  I also listened to a very informative talk by Joseph McBride on Tippit.

Do you remember when Frank Sesno came out on the Hx Channel with Dallek as part of the panel and spoke against your book after it aired as part of The Men Who Killed Kennedy.

It is just so nice now that so many have come out that basically corroborate your book, including Roger Stone.

It would be fun to hear what Frank Sesno would say now....because I have always admired his work but their whole theory of going against your book has essentially been proven untrue.

Just saying congratulations on your work but I do not know how you had the confidence to come out....Well done.

This is what I have always maintained....the whole thing was so complex and there were so many threads that seem is impossible for the public to tie it all together but you and Roger and Joseph McBride have certainly shed light on the Dallas cover-up and the LBJ connection.

It just seems like that part cannot be disputed now.

What do you think and thank you for your ronie re.

And so honored to hear his response:

Barr McClellan
November 29 at 7:28pm
Thank you very much. The book itself was easy relative to the reaction. Some tough dissents. The support was overwhelming and will be in the sequel, now heading to final. And under contract for two movies. Parts of the sequel will be released soon. We are moving to closure and justice. Again, thank you. And stick with me. All the best, Barr

Thank you, Barr, and good luck to you.

Here is a link to the interview with Barr McClellan:

so are all of these people wrong--just wondering--what do you think?

Into the Nightmare: My Search for the Killers of President John F. Kennedy and Officer J. D. Tippit by Joseph McBride.

Nov 28, 2014

Go Soledad........Getting Us Straight on Ferguson

Soledad O'Brien Sounds Off on 

Ferguson Coverage: 

‘Pissing Me Off’ That Questions 

Are ‘Awful and Stupid’

Soledad O'Brien Sounds Off on Ferguson Coverage: 'Pissing Me Off' That Questions Are 'Awful and Stupid'
“The killing of Michael Brown was not a story of black on black crime,” O'Brien tells TheWrap
Soledad O'Brien is loving life producing content for her own production company while also creating documentaries for networks such as her former full-time employer CNN. One of those docs–”Black & Blue”– which chronicles racial tension between police and minorities, airs Wednesday at 11 p.m. ET on CNN.
But she might be the exact journalist needed on TV this week as anchors ask questions to guests that have caused her to “yell at the TV.”
“What's kind of pissing me off is that some of the questions are just awful, and they're stupid, and some of the comments are indicative of people not really understanding a topic that I've said for a long time people don't really want to talk about–race,” O'Brien told TheWrap in a far-ranging interview Wednesday.
O'Brien pointed out one TV news guest not being asked the right questions–or being challenged for shifting the focus away from what's really happening.
“When Rudy Giuliani can be interviewed, whether you're talking about by liberal media or conservative media, and talks about black on black crime, he's changed the topic.”
Dyson Giuliani
“The killing of Michael Brown was not a story of black on black crime, but I keep seeing people interview him, where I yell at the TV and say, “Why are you asking him that question!”
O'Brien says the real questions the media should be asking pertain to how the police interact with black people.  ”Less then when I watch Fox is the coverage one way, and when I watch MSNBC is the coverage a different way, and when I watch CNN is the coverage a third way–I mean of course it is, that's kind of the way they've evolved.”
The more frustrating thing for the former “Starting Point” anchor is the lack of intelligent conversation that operates “around facts and the actual question at hand.”
“In America we move the elephant in the room. And I think this is an opportunity to have a conversation about race.”
Watch the trailer for her Wednesday night documentary “Black & Blue” below.

Nov 27, 2014

Dear Larry Mendte: You Might Be Barking Up The Wrong Tree on Ferguson

English: Nancy Grace at her book party for her...
English: Nancy Grace at her book party for her new book "Objection!" at the Bryant Park Grill, NYC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Talking about Ferguson, Missouri and the recent death of Michael Brown.

All the big talkers keep going on about it.

Larry Mendte and Geraldo Rivera--two favorites of The Ronnie Republic--they seem to always have their facts, say what is and is not their opinion, and welcome a conversation of the opposite.

77 WABC New York AM Radio has some good ones--seriously, they are the best radio/news/talk station so far.

Also Curtis and Kuby are hilarious and Joan Hamburg has some real good info on Broadway shows and recipes on Saturday.

Larry is missing the point on the issue of Ferguson and the slaying officer Darren Wilson.  Yes, Larry, we know he followed the law--we get it--as you always say.

But, something just does not seem right........

As Nancy Grace said yesterday on CNN and then on her own show on HLN something just seems wrong with the whole scenario.  Nancy told us she does not feel comfortable with the way the prosecutor used the grand jury and the law.

Nancy Grace mentioned something that seemed strange to The Ronnie Re right off the bat......

Right, Darren Wilson said he was fighting for his life--but look at him--does he seem beat up to you in the photos taken of him at the ER immediately following the incident?

The idea that Michael Brown is a violent character, a bad actor, or a "demon" as Wilson tellingly described him just does not hold water....why....think about it.....what about all of the really violent, hostile mentally ill folks that are picked up every day by the police departments around the world?

What about all of the violent criminals that actually do resist arrest--how do they survive the police encounter and Michael Brown did not.

Regardless of color too many of our youth are dying at the hands of the police and excessive use of force.

Should the laws be changed?

Should the process be changed to protect our kids?

Should the police have  more training?

Should the kids have more training--perhaps in school--how to act when confronted by the police so you will not die.

No--it's a shame--a crying shame to hear the words of the parents of Michael Brown.  Nancy Grace did an excellent job of telling us how the parents felt.  One could not hear it without feeling sympathy for the family and imagining the heart ache they have felt.

No--the thing is not all cut and dried--Nancy Grace did a brilliant job of pointing this out.

Talking about color.......

I doubt seriously this same scenario would have happened to a young man in La Jolla.  Well, okay, Larry--if you say so--it's simply just about the law--really, because I have never heard of it happening in La Jolla--the same scenario.  Oh, right, I guess it's just a coincidence--it happens all the time--we just do not hear about it.

Excessive use of force, lack of experience, drawing his gun too soon, not waiting for back-up--all of these things have been said by the experts on various talk radio and television.

Thank goodness for Ron Kuby--he has pointed out some of the facts to us, also.

Larry is so angry the people are protesting--well, what exactly should they do to protect their rights.

The treatment of the mother after the death--it seemed like it was quite disrespectful--would this have been the treatment of the parent from Rancho Santa Fe?

To The Ronnie Republic one problem might be social mobility.  At the end of the day it is a different life in middle income suburbia than the segregated inner city of Wichita.  Will the kid beat up for gang affiliation have the same opportunities as the kid from La Jolla?  Will the kid surrounded by gang members have the same thoughts as the kid surrounded by classmates headed for Harvard.

Shall I blast Bill O'Reilly here on white privilege--can white kids act up but a giant black kid cannot?

This was the death of a young man on his way to college--perhaps he still lived in two worlds......that of his youth and poor decision making and that of academics, adult hood and good judgement that lies ahead.

At the end of the day shouldn't we try to save our children and examine the situation a little more sounds easy to quote the laws and the rules and sum Michael Brown up as a bad actor but shouldn't we examine the larger picture and do some hard thinking about solving the situation at hand.

check this out from Al Jazeera America on this issue:

Nancy Grace did a very powerful interview with the parents:

Grand jury decision in Ferguson illustrates the legal and social barriers to prosecuting officers


Why police are rarely indicted for misconduct

Grand jury decision in Ferguson illustrates the legal and social barriers to prosecuting officers
November 24, 2014 10:00PM ET
On Monday evening, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch announced that a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. The announcement concluded a tumultuous summer of mass protests against police violence and racial discrimination. Although the decision will be a disappointment to many, those who follow prosecutions of police for use of excessive or unwarranted force say a decision not to indict Wilson is unsurprising.
There are major legal, institutional and social impediments to prosecuting police. Thousands of officers are involved in shootings every year, resulting in about 400 deaths annually. However, successful criminal prosecution of a police officer for killing someone in the line of duty, if no corruption is alleged, is extremely rare. Even when officers are convicted, the charges are often minimal. For example, Coleman Brackney, a Bella Vista, Oklahoma, police officer who was convicted of misdemeanor negligent homicide in 2010 after shooting an unarmed teen to death while in custody in his cruiser, went on to rejoin the police and was recently appointed chief of police in Sulphur Springs, Oklahoma.

Structural barriers

There are significant structural barriers to successful police indictment or prosecution. For one, investigations are usually conducted by a combination of police detectives and investigators from the prosecutors’ office. Prosecutors tend to take a greater role when there is a reason to believe that the shooting might not be justified. However, they must rely on the cooperation of the police to gather necessary evidence, including witness statements from the officer involved and other officers at the scene. In some cases they are the only living witnesses to the event.
The close collaboration between police and prosecutors, which is an asset in homicide investigations, becomes a hindrance in police shooting cases. In most cases, the prosecutors’ reliance on the cooperation of police creates a fundamental conflict of interest. As a result, prosecutors are often reluctant to aggressively pursue these cases.
Moreover, the local elected district attorneys often want to avoid being seen as inhibiting police power. Even in communities where distrust of police is common, no prosecutor ever got thrown out of office for defending the police. At its core, the public sees the DA’s office as a defender of law and order and expects these officials to uphold them.
The way prosecutors handled the Wilson case illustrates this conflict of interest. It took prosecutors months to collect and present evidence to the grand jury. While this has the appearance of thoroughness, it also has the effect of creating a public cooling-off period as short-term demands for prosecution become muted. The radically different approach of the St. Louis County DA is telling. Typically, prosecutors make a short presentation to the grand jury in which they call for specific charges to be considered and then put on their best show of the evidence to see if it passes muster. Indictments occur in more than 90 percent of cases, owing to the low threshold of probable cause and the one-sided nature of the proceedings. In Wilson’s case, however, the DA said he planned to provide the grand jury with all the evidence and allow them to decide, without any prompting, whether an indictment was justified and for what offense.
The American public and its representatives need to realize that there are better ways to prevent crime and serve the community than licensing excessive police force.
The DA hoped to accomplish two things. First, this approach allowed him to absolve himself of any responsibility for the outcome. Second, it served to confuse and undermine the confidence of the grand jury. Normally, the jury is given clear guidance and overrules prosecutors only in extreme cases. By giving the jurors a wide variety of conflicting evidence and little framework in which to evaluate it, the DA is opening the door to a he said/he said dynamic in which they may err on the side of caution and avoid an indictment.

Legal hurdles

There are also huge legal hurdles to overcome. State laws that authorize police use of force, which are backed up by Supreme Court precedent, give police significant latitude in using deadly force. In the 1989 case Graham v. Connor, the Supreme Court ruled that officers may use force to effect a lawful arrest or if they reasonably believe that the person represents a serious physical threat to the officer or others. This means that police may use force over any resistance to arrest and that if the resistance escalates, officers may escalate their force. The court also said that the totality of circumstances must be judged with an understanding of the split-second nature of police decision-making.
Furthermore, in Missouri and many other states, even a perceived effort to take an officer’s gun justifies the use of deadly force. Therefore, in judging the reasonableness of the officer’s actions, the jury may consider factors such as the alleged perpetrator’s size and previous actions as well as the officer’s training and guidance. All this creates numerous avenues for justifying police action based on the officer’s reasonable understanding of the situation rather than a more objective post hoc assessment.
Juror mindset creates yet another challenge to successful indictments and prosecutions. Grand juries and criminal court juries consist of local residents. Even in periods of heightened concern about police misconduct, most citizens retain a strong bias in favor of police. Popular culture and political discourse are suffused with commentaries about both the central importance of police in maintaining the basic structural integrity of society and the dangerous nature of their work. In addition, the legal standard for judging police misconduct calls on jurors to put themselves in the officers’ shoes, further strengthening the tendency to identify with the police.

Race relations

Another important dynamic in police prosecutions is the state of race relations in the United States. Despite the rhetoric about being a postracial society, racial divisions and bias remain omnipresent in American society and nowhere more than in the realm of criminal justice. There is abundant evidence of jury bias in a variety of racially disparate criminal justice outcomes, including false convictions, application of the death penalty and drug convictions. Research shows that whites have a generally more positive view of the police than blacks do. The sad reality is that white jurors are much more likely to side with police, regardless of the race of the officer and the person killed. This was seen in the Rodney King prosecutions in California, in which a mostly white suburban state court jury did not convict four Los Angeles Police Department officers in the severe beating of King after a high-speed car chase, despite the incident’s being videotaped. (The jury acquitted three of the four officers and deadlocked on a charge of excessive force against one officer.) A more diverse federal jury later found two of the officers guilty of violating King’s civil rights.
Regardless of what happens in Brown’s case, there are no simple fixes for these problems. Advocates such as the Rev. Al Sharpton have called for a federal prosecution. Even if federal officials get involved, they must bring a different kind of charge, related to civil rights violations. While this legal twist of logic has been an important check on failed state legal processes going back to the civil rights fights of the 1950s and ’60s, it is not a substitute for local criminal prosecution, especially in an era of heightened resistance to federal legitimacy.
Internal administrative accountability is sorely lacking. In “Jammed Up: Bad Cops, Police Misconduct and the New York City Police Department,” Robert Kane and Michael White show that police rarely face internal disciplinary charges for use of force. Recent reports from Philadelphia and Seattle show that even when officers are subject to discipline, the majority of such cases end up being overturned by arbitrators or courts as a result of extensive due process protections for police officers.
Instead, states should create a police prosecutor’s office, or blue desk, that is more removed from local politics. While relying on state attorneys general has its own challenges, the outcomes are likely to be viewed as more legitimate. These blue desks could become repositories of expertise on police prosecutions. Even if tied to state politics, they might be better able to insulate themselves from accusations of overly aggressive prosecutions as well as charges of not supporting the police.
Laws on the use of force need reform. Police shootings were much more common in the 1970s when regulations about the use of force were even looser. In response to public outcries and rioting in the 1960s and ’70s, local police began to tighten up regulations and offer training to officers, resulting in significant reductions in shootings. The 1984 Supreme Court case Tennessee v. Garner institutionalized some of these changes nationally, including making it unlawful for police to shoot a fleeing suspect. Since then, however, the courts have mostly expanded police authorization to use force.
Finally, the U.S. needs to dial back the dramatic expansion of police power over the last 40 years. For example, the growing prevalence of paramilitary SWAT teams and the ongoing war on drugs have significantly contributed to excessive use of force. In part this happened through the combined direct enforcement practices of these two types of policing. But they also contributed indirectly to a larger ethos of militarized patrolling that equates policing with the use of force and a war footing. The public and its representatives need to realize that there are better ways to prevent crime and serve the community than licensing excessive police force.
Alex S. Vitale is an associate professor of sociology at Brooklyn College and author of “City of Disorder: How the Quality of Life Campaign Transformed New York Politics.” He is also a senior policy adviser to the Police Reform Organizing Project and serves on the New York State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. 
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera America's editorial policy.
copied from Aljazeera America and here is a link to the page: