Jan 3, 2014

How To Sew A Shirt Yoke

StayFly 101: How to Tie a Bow Tie

Mick Jagger: Timeless Beauty--Is that Edward Sexton

Exquisite Mick Jaggeer--Just wondering is that beautifully tailored suit by Edward Sexton.  This sewing person is suggesting it could be Edward Sexton judging by the position of the top of the sleeve to the shoulder.  Talking about the "rope" shouldder and the english cut--narrow waist and high armholes--compared to the boxy jacket and shoulder of traditional American style.

Right, some individuals are the art--talking about Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Britney Spears, Elvis Presley--classic beauty, classic art.  Art in time--Mick Jagger.

copied from the financial times: howtospendit.ft.com

Giving the bold shoulder

Tailoring is cool again – and the focus is squarely on the shoulder line as fashion designers, as well as traditional tailors, explore cuts and constructions. Tom Stubbs reports.

OCTOBER 05 2011
There’s no doubt that tailoring is currently the dominant story in men’s fashion. If the catwalks of Milan and Paris are any indication, it’s never been more in vogue. Meanwhile, tailors themselves are finding fresh ways to distinguish their work. This isn’t everyday business garb I’m referring to, but tailoring men want to wear because it’s so damn cool. In the sartorial equivalent of Church versus State, tailors and fashion houses are toe to toe, and right now, both camps are focusing on the shoulder line.
The most creative fashion designers put their own twist on traditional tailoring techniques. Lanvin’s approach, for example, is both inspired and significant: the autumn collection has a feel of Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth. But look past the catwalk styling – the fedoras and outré footwear – and it’s clear that Lanvin’s head of menswear design, Lucas Ossendrijver, who works under creative director Alber Elbaz, has manipulated tailoring in a deft way. The fabrics are classic and in subtle hues, keeping things wearable for terrestrial chaps, and three types of shoulder line are offered.
Ossendrijver says, “In tailoring, the shoulder is the key element. I experiment a lot, working closely with my tailor. One version is an extremely narrow fitted silhouette where the sleeve inset is actually on the body, requiring a special sleeve shaped with added darts [jacket, £2,060]. Another is the slightly dropped shoulder and lapel, as if the jacket is a little too big, but with a fitted waistline [£2,640]. And the oversized ‘round’ jacket [£2,600] has a kimono-inspired sleeve, which doesn’t have a sleeve inset and is cut in one piece, creating a very round silhouette. These jackets are crafted in a traditional tailored way, fully canvased, making them precise. I play with cut and construction to blur boundaries between formal- and sportswear, the fashion-forward and the classic.”
Subversion can also be seen elsewhere. Constantly challenging accepted norms, Prada has developed a blunted shoulder from which to hang its boxy jacket shape. It breaks modern ground: a subtle arching shoulder produces a rounded, 1960s Mod shape for a new decade. In mohair wools, the three-button format and minimal, short lapels usher in a postmodern aesthetic executed in Prada’s unmistakable handwriting (jacket, £1,320).
Unmistakable for different reasons, Dolce & Gabbana’s strong, masculine tailoring nods to a romantic tradition of Italian dressing. Currently its designs display tactile-looking fabrication and softer shoulders. Stefano Gabbana says, “We started where we always start: our roots. Then we built on them with new procedures, fabrics and washing and boiling methods. The look becomes very soft and relaxed, it’s no longer aggressive. Fabrics are also soft and warm.” The result (jackets from £995) is a shoulder that melds to the body and facilitates shorter-length jackets, which are an important development and flatter most frames without constricting. Gabbana adds, “We’ve taken the classic tailoring tradition and reviewed it through today’s aesthetics. We want to talk to people who don’t buy suits as an obligation.”
Similar motivations prompted the tailoring house Canali to devise its new Milanese silhouette (jackets from £700). Its suits appear low-key and are remarkable to wear, combining ease of movement with lean lines. Conservative chalk stripes take on a new accent in this format. Elisabetta Canali, global communications director, elaborates: “The shoulder has stitched ‘fell’ [enforced] seams to emphasise its line, while the sleeve has large armholes, which emphasise the shoulder. The look is characterised by a very fitted waist, slim silhouette and a tighter trouser.” This cut delivers a firm statement in a relaxed way.
Soft shoulders are an old Italian tradition, however. Neapolitan tailoring uses no padding, and has shoulder seams that are reminiscent of shirting construction. Wearing these “natural” shoulders feels like wearing a cardigan. Rubinacci, Kiton and Brunello Cucinelli are all great bastions of this style.
A recent trend for separate jackets and trousers has also focused attention on these tailors – as has the appetite for cashmere blends and hopsack weaves that work so harmoniously with unpadded shoulders.
Little padding is used by Roland Mouret for his line Mr by Roland Mouret, yet his shoulder line is very bold indeed. He believes, “Women are defined by their waists. For me, with a man, it’s the shoulders that define the volume of an outfit.” His shoulder shapes are solid, almost square (Johnston jacket, £750). The jacket then falls naturally, in the manner of relaxed power dressing. “I like the contradiction of it. It’s not firm – it’s all in the cut, and the support is in the shoulders.” He also says shoulder pads should be used “just to push slightly – like an iconic 1940s look”. His jackets work well on larger-framed men, and can flatter less-trim physiques.
Some designers cut yet more pronounced shoulders to make imposing statements. Gucci put on an early-1970s showcase – with models strutting like rock’n’roll playboys – right down to the swooping lapels (jacket, £1,020) and kick-flare pants. These vigorous shoulders make for high-impact dressing, and will appeal to more audacious suit wearers. Mick Jagger famously donned something similar when he married Bianca in 1971. His suit was by the seminal British tailor Tommy Nutter (London’s Fashion and Textile Museum currently has an exhibition devoted to him, Tommy Nutter: Rebel on the Row, which runs until October 22). And Nutter’s creative partner and cutting legend Edward Sexton continues to make striking bespoke suits (from £3,800).
Tom Ford is also an advocate of imposing shoulders and grand lapels (jackets from £1,200). His tailoring in bold retro checks, luxe cord or evening velvets makes arresting statements, and his uncompromising feel for luxury and instinctive dressy verve is singular, and certainly not for the faint-hearted.
Wide shoulders don’t necessarily have to be attention grabbing: Maison Martin Margiela has used broad but subtly cut shoulders to hang longer-length, elegant suiting in various pinstripes, particularly double-breasted jackets (from £835). Another Belgian, Dries Van Noten, uses double-breasting to spirited effect with luxe camel evening jackets (€737). Both brands reference 1940s suavity – the former with a sculpted vision and shield-shape, curved lapels, the latter’s blazers with an almost overcoat quality. Paul Smith also presents a manly shape with a lower-cut wrapover (£770). All these designers are taking vintage Savile Row forms and reinterpreting them.
Naturally, traditional British tailoring houses are not sitting back and allowing themselves to be outstyled. The best tailors utilise their heritage and combine it with new ideas about styling, fabrication and lifestyle. Their battle cry could well be “Give them enough rope!” as their signature look is the traditional Row construction known as a “rope” shoulder. They’re all employing it, but in different ways. “Rope” build is a piece of felt wadding worked into a sleeve-head that is cut bigger than the armhole of the jacket. The sleeve is then eased in, creating volume. The rope gives the shoulder seam a protruding swell. Its effect can be dashing or regal.
At Hardy Amies, creative director Claire Malcolm has produced noble double-breasted styles (suits from £895) that couldn’t be more British. The shoulders are broad, there’s reserved use of rope, but suits don’t look remotely stuffy. “I started with a classic Savile Row hourglass shape, which is very sexy, but made the point of the shoulder a lot narrower, making a far more modern silhouette,” Malcolm says. “I reduced the skirt, keeping a nipped-in waist, which makes everyone look great.” Indeed, Amies suits – in luxurious grey and navy flannels and herringbones (jacket, £775) – are stately yet very chic affairs.
Meanwhile, over at Gieves & Hawkes, the military outfitter at number 1 Savile Row, you’ll find classic blazers. Head cutter Kathryn Sargent says, “We have developed two styles, taking influence from our military heritage. The blazers are sculptured in a way that emphasises the shoulder line by using a rope sleeve and increasing the stand of the collar, which dramatically impacts the silhouette. Forget soft tailoring, these are British and really sharp.” Single-breasted styles come from RAF archive examples and double-breasted from naval reefers, tweaked to look fresh (blazers from £495).
Meanwhile, bespoke tailoring duo Thom Whiddett and Luke Sweeney, aka Thom Sweeney, have garnered much attention with their pronounced shoulder lines. Using a meld of British and Italian construction, they favour a racy rope shoulder but one that is narrow and lightly padded (bespoke jacket, from £1,595). Whiddett says, “I was taught that the shoulder was the focal point of a suit. With bespoke and handmade garments you get a particular roundness and softness that you can’t get when they’re glued or machine-made. Even with our casual separate jackets, which have no canvasing, we do rope shoulders.” With the larger-notch lapels they advocate and their inspired fabric suggestions, they deliver some of the most immediately attractive tailoring.
Dunhill, a heritage design house, has always had a modern take on tailoring and this is where its autumn suiting aligns itself. The silhouette is long and lean, and most styles have shoulders with a subtle rope, cut so that pad and sleeve are in line with the outer edge of the human shoulder within. There’s a reserve about it: the slim line and longer jacket (from £950) deliver a strong look that quietly produces an elongating, svelte shape.
Patrick Grant won the British Fashion Council’s menswear designer of the year 2010 for E Tautz, his resurrected heritage “sporting” outfitter. He cites a strong shoulder shape as critical: “You make an enormous impression with how you cut shoulders. They’re a key parameter to play with – and they’re getting wider.” He shows two styles – unstructured and half-lined (both from £840) – for his E Tautz runway shows. The completely unstructured one has sporting origins, and pronounced yet non-rigid shoulders. The “nouveau Brit” look of E Tautz jackets is becoming de rigueur. Entirely UK-sourced fabrics in stunning colours and weaves emphasise the contemporary nature of the brand.
So while the British shoulder line delivers a sartorial proclamation you can’t find elsewhere, Italian tailoring takes it into casualwear territory with its softness. Meanwhile, the fashion houses provide customers who crave an extra flourish with a formidable array of choice. Just as with Church versus State, different viewpoints produce new developments. And friction between factions – not the dominance of one – is currently providing menswear with some lively shoulder action.

The Kennedy Assassination and Lee Harvery Oswald in New Orleans by Michael L. Kurtz

copied from myneworleans.com

The Kennedy Assassination: 50 Years Later

Whether it was a lone gunman or a conspiracy, New Orleans had footprints.

Lee Harvey Oswald
Lee Harvey Oswald

In mid-April 1963,

only seven months before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald arrived in New Orleans. After staying briefly with relatives, he got a job at the Reily Coffee Company, the makers of Luzianne coffee, and he rented an apartment at 4907 Magazine St. in the city’s Uptown section. During his stay in the city in the next five months, Oswald would engage in activities and make personal contacts that remain the topics of much discussion a half-century later. While it’s still being debated whether the assassination resulted from the act of a deranged lone gunman or from a conspiracy, and whether Cubans, mobsters, renegade CIA agents or influential members of the industrial-military establishment masterminded the killing of the president, everyone agrees that the five months that Oswald spent in New Orleans during the spring and summer of ’63 played a critical role in the assassination.

Oswald’s ties to New Orleans ran deep. He was born there in October 1939. Lee’s father, Robert, died two months before he was born, leaving his mother, Marguerite Claverie Oswald, to raise Lee, his older brother, Robert, and his older half-brother, John Pic, by herself. During Lee’s early childhood, Marguerite lived in several homes on Alvar, Pauline, Bartholomew and Congress streets in the Upper 9th Ward. When Lee was 6, she lived briefly in Covington, where Lee first attended school. Marguerite moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in ’46, where Lee would live for the next six years. In ’52 she moved to New York, then in ’54 back to New Orleans, where she lived on Exchange Place in the French Quarter. Lee attended Beauregard Junior High and Warren Easton High School for one year each.

Lee Harvey Oswald, above left,  projected a public image of sympathy for communism in Cuba and the Soviet Union, distributing pro-Castro leaflets, left. Beneath the surface Oswald associated with extreme right-wing elements taking actions to overthrow the regime of Fidel Castro, one of whom was David Ferrie, above right.

District Attorney Jim Garrison subpoenaed the famous Zapruder film making it the first time it was seen in public. The film of the assassination showed Kennedy’s head moving violently leftward and backward after being struck.
As soon as Lee reached the age of 17, he joined the Marine Corps, where he served for more than two and a half years. After leaving the Marines, he travelled to Fort Worth, then to New Orleans, where he caught a Lykes freighter bound for Europe. In October ’59, Lee defected to the Soviet Union, where he would spend the next two and a half years. In April ’62, with funds provided by the U.S. State Department, he returned to the United States, bringing with him his Russian wife, Marina Prushakova, and their daughter, June. For the next year, Lee and Marina lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, before his move back to New Orleans.

No one knows the reason for Lee’s decision to move to New Orleans in April 1963. Although his aunt, Lillian Claverie Murrett, and uncle, Charles “Dutz” Murrett, lived there, his mother and brother lived in Fort Worth. The Warren Commission, appointed by President Lyndon Johnson to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy, tread very lightly over the minefield of espionage and suspicion that encompassed Oswald’s five months in the Crescent City in the spring and summer of ’63. Eager to attribute a motive to Oswald’s alleged killing of Kennedy, the commission focused exclusively on Oswald’s public espousal of socialist, communist and Marxian ideology. In its Report, the Warren Commission mentioned Oswald’s appearances on local radio and television programs, in which he proclaimed himself a supporter of the USSR in the Cold War. It also discussed Oswald’s fight on Canal Street with Carlos Bringuier, a prominent anti-Castro Cuban exile, and it devoted much attention to Oswald’s well-publicized distribution of pro-Castro leaflets calling on the United States to keep “Hands Off Cuba.” Finally, the commission noted Oswald’s formation of the New Orleans chapter of the pro-Castro Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Even though Allen Dulles, the former Director of the CIA, was a member of the Warren Commission and knew of highly secret intelligence activities emanating from New Orleans, the Warren Report gave these activities no attention. However, Oswald’s death at the hands of Jack Ruby didn’t eradicate his connections to New Orleans.

Three years after the 1964 publication of the Warren Report, the district attorney of Orleans Parish, Jim Garrison, would startle the nation by announcing (after the publication of a States-Item news article by Rosemary James and Jack Wardlaw), that his office was conducting an investigation into the Kennedy assassination. Garrison further stated that the assassination resulted from a conspiracy hatched in New Orleans in the summer of ’63, and that Lee Harvey Oswald projected a public image of sympathy for communism in Cuba and the Soviet Union, but beneath the surface associated with extreme right-wing elements taking actions to overthrow the regime of Fidel Castro. By early March ’67, the District Attorney’s office had arrested Clay L. Shaw and charged him with conspiracy to commit the murder of John F. Kennedy. A native of Kentwood, Shaw was a prominent member of the New Orleans business and civic community. He had served as director of the International Trade Mart and played a prominent role in the ’60s movement to revitalize the French Quarter.

Another individual that Garrison intended to charge with conspiracy to kill the president was discovered dead in his Louisiana Avenue Parkway apartment by investigators from the DA’s office. He was David William Ferrie, a 45-year-old eccentric. Like Garrison, a native of the Midwest, Ferrie had studied theology and had even established his own religion, an offbeat sect that had few members. An expert pilot, Ferrie flew for Eastern Airlines in the 1950s and served as a captain for a Civil Air Patrol squadron at Lakefront Airport. There he met Oswald for the first time because Oswald had joined the squadron. Because of his homosexuality, Ferrie lost his job at Eastern, but he drew the attention of Guy Banister. A former FBI agent and former assistant supervisor of the New Orleans Police Department, Banister opened a private investigative agency located near Lafayette Square in ’61. Banister was an extreme anti-communist and racist and found that Ferrie shared his beliefs. Using his connections with the local CIA office, located in the nearby Masonic Temple Building, Banister obtained jobs for Ferrie to fly missions in which he dropped supplies to CIA-sponsored anti-Castro guerillas.

To support his accusations against Shaw and the now deceased Ferrie, Garrison obtained both a grand jury indictment and a bill of information alleging that Shaw was guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. Garrison produced a witness, a recently released Angola inmate named Perry Raymond Russo, who related a story, that if true, would’ve destroyed the official government lone assassin version of the assassination. His memory jolted by hypnosis sessions, Russo stated that in the summer of 1963, he attended a party at Ferrie’s apartment. Both Clay Shaw and Oswald (who called himself “Leon”), together with several anti-Castro Cubans, also attended. Russo claimed that at the party, Ferrie launched a tirade against President Kennedy, calling him pro-Communist and demanding that action be taken to eliminate him. Ferrie then talked in detail about assassinating Kennedy, about how he should be killed while he rode in a motorcade. Ferrie then laid out plans to catch the president in a “triangulation of crossfire,” in which multiple gunmen firing from different positions would kill him.

Three years after the 1964 publication of the Warren Report, the district attorney of Orleans Parish, Jim Garrison, would startle the nation by announcing that his office was conducting an investigation into the Kennedy assassination.

Cross Examination

After two years of intense publicity and legal appeals, the trial of Clay Shaw began in January 1969. Garrison’s prosecutors produced witnesses and for the first time in a public setting, the famous Zapruder film of the assassination showing Kennedy’s head moving violently leftward and backward after being struck, convincing many courtroom observers, including the jurors, that a conspiracy indeed existed. However, in making its case against Shaw, the prosecution proved wanting. Once again, Russo testified about the party, but subjected to a withering cross-examination, he didn’t come across as a highly credible witness. A convicted heroin dealer named Vernon Bundy testified that he saw Shaw and Oswald exchange an envelope on the Lake Pontchartrain seawall. Seven witnesses from Clinton, La., stated that they saw Shaw, Ferrie and Oswald together there in late August ’63. The most compelling witness that Garrison seemed to produce was a New York accountant named Charles Speisel. Unlike the former inmate Russo, Speisel, well dressed and well spoken, appeared quite credible when he testified that he also had attended a party, this one at a house on Esplanade Avenue, in which Ferrie, Shaw and Oswald also discussed assassinating the president. Fortunately, in our adversarial system, there’s an opportunity for the defense to cross-examine a witness. Upon cross-examination, Speisel admitted that he fingerprinted his daughter when she returned home during holidays to ensure that aliens hadn’t kidnapped her and switched her for one of their own. The rest of the trial was anti-climatic, and it took the jury less than an hour to acquit Shaw.

Garrison’s failure to prove his case in a court of law delighted defenders of the Warren Commission’s lone assassin conclusion, but Garrison did raise certain questions that directly related to the New Orleans connection to the assassination. First, why was Oswald, an outspoken communist sympathizer, associating with people like Banister and Ferrie, who were on the opposite end of the political spectrum? Both Garrison’s office and a subsequent investigation by the House Select Committee on Assassinations uncovered evidence that Oswald indeed associated with extreme right-wing anti-communists during his New Orleans sojourn. Banister’s secretary, Delphine Roberts, and William George Gaudet, a CIA operative who frequently met with Banister, recalled seeing Oswald in Banister’s office. Oswald had known Ferrie since he belonged to the Civil Air Patrol squadron that Ferrie commanded, and numerous witnesses saw them together in New Orleans in the summer of 1963.

Another issue raised by Garrison was his accusations against the CIA for engaging in a willful cover-up of its New Orleans-based anti-Castro operations in the spring and summer of 1963. At the time, virtually all pundits and leaders of the national news media scoffed at Garrison’s charges, but later developments proved him entirely accurate. Next to Miami, New Orleans became the home for the largest influx of Cuban refugees from Cuba after Fidel Castro assumed power in ’59. Acting on orders from its Langley, Va., headquarters, the New Orleans office of the CIA developed an extensive network of individuals assigned to engage in guerilla attacks against the Cuban government. According to CIA documents, Oswald was assigned many tasks involving anti-Castro maneuvers emanating from the New Orleans Field Office. Others who took part in the activities included Ferrie, Banister, Gaudet, and such anti-Castro Cuban exiles as Carlos Bringuier and Sergio Arcacha Smith.

The activities carried out in and around New Orleans during the early 1960s became embedded in a morass of intrigue and intelligence operations that hasn’t yet been totally untangled because of the continuing refusal of the CIA to release all materials in its possession relating to the assassination. Only a few aspects will be mentioned here. Various anti-Castro Cuban organizations were established in New Orleans and served as fronts of undercover operations. Arcacha Smith’s Cuban Revolutionary Council had an office in the same building, located at 544 Camp St., where Banister’s private investigator’s office was housed. It is of considerable interest that some of the pro-Castro leaflets that Oswald passed out in downtown New Orleans listed 544 Camp St. as the address of his Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Banister used Oswald to try to find Castro’s double agents who had infiltrated such groups as the Cuban Student Directorate (DRE), also located in New Orleans. The details of these intelligence activities remain classified to this day. It is known that George Joannides, the CIA’s liaison with the DRE, deliberately withheld vast amounts of documentary material from congressional committees looking into these matters.

In late August 1963, Oswald travelled to Dallas, where he met with David Atlee Phillips, who, using the alias “Maurice Bishop,” served as the principal CIA official in charge of Western Hemispheric clandestine activities. Oswald also met in Dallas in late September with Silvia Odio, the daughter of a prominent Cuban opponent of Castro. At both meetings, Oswald was accompanied by, or seen by, Cuban exiles supported by the CIA.

Together with Banister and Ferrie, Oswald visited the large Schlumberger Well oil drilling supply company located in Houma. According to CIA records, the company provided cover for a large cache of weapons and other supplies that Ferrie and others would fly to Cuban rebels fighting against Castro’s forces. A guerilla training camp was located near Bedico Creek, on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. There both Americans and Cuban exiles were instructed by CIA agents on guerilla tactics and even methods of assassination, since killing the Cuban leader remained the highest priority of the American intelligence agency. A recently released document written by Richard Helms, the CIA’s second in command, reveals that even after President Kennedy was assassinated, assassination plots against Castro were being hatched in Washington, Miami and New Orleans.

It took the jury less than an hour to acquit Clay Shaw of the charges to conspire to kill the president. Garrison’s failure to prove his case in a court of law delighted defenders of the Warren Commission’s lone assassin conclusion, but Garrison did raise certain questions that directly related to the New Orleans connection to the assassination.

The Mafia Angle

Another aspect of the New Orleans connection to the assassination lays in the possible involvement of organized crime, with the Louisiana Mafia boss, Carlos Marcello, being a prime suspect. Marcello had plenty of reason to despise President Kennedy and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy. In 1961, acting on orders from the attorney general, federal agents arrested Marcello, who had never obtained his U.S. citizenship, and “deported” him to Guatemala. After Marcello returned, he found himself entangled in protracted legal struggles to remain in the country. The Justice Department prosecuted him on various immigration charges, and in ’63, Marcello would be tried in federal court. On the very day that the president was assassinated, the jury would acquit Marcello on all charges.

Marcello faced other attacks from the Kennedy administration. Robert Kennedy’s Organized Crime Division had singled out Marcello as a primary target in its campaign to destroy Mafia syndicates throughout the country. Marcello voiced his intense hatred of the Kennedy brothers to many people. In one noteworthy conversation with Edward Becker, a Los Angeles mobster, Marcello vowed that, “Bobby will be taken care of.” Referring to President Kennedy as a dog, with Robert being the dog’s tail, Marcello told Becker that, “the dog will keep biting if you only cut off its tail, but if you cut off its head, it will die.” The inference was clear: if President Kennedy was assassinated, Robert Kennedy would no longer be attorney general and his war against organized crime would end.

The House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that Carlos Marcello did indeed have the “motive, means and opportunity” to assassinate the president.
Even more evidence for the theory that Carlos Marcello masterminded the assassination came from a story told by Frank Ragano, an attorney for and a close friend of the Florida mob boss, Santo Trafficante. Ragano stated that in July 1963, he visited the notorious Teamsters Union president, Jimmy Hoffa, had expressed his desire to see the “sons of bitches [John and Robert Kennedy] killed,” who asked him to request that Trafficante and his fellow Mafia godfather Marcello have President Kennedy killed. Ragano travelled to New Orleans, where he met with Marcello and Trafficante at the Royal Orleans Hotel. Ragano relayed Hoffa’s request, and both mob bosses reacted as if the “hit” on Kennedy was already planned. Ragano also stated that in ’82, Trafficante, then dying of heart disease, told him that “Carlos fucked up. He should have killed Bobby, but he got Giovanni [John] instead.”

The House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that Carlos Marcello did indeed have the “motive, means and opportunity” to assassinate the president. Since Marcello’s organized crime empire included Texas, as well as Louisiana, any Mafia murder, especially that of the president, would have needed Marcello’s approval. The committee found that Oswald’s assassin, Jack Ruby, had longtime connections with Marcello operatives in both states. In 1959, for example, Ruby flew from New Orleans to Havana, where he paid Fidel Castro’s people a substantial sum of money to release Trafficante from a prison in the Cuban capital. In the summer of ’63, Ruby made several trips to New Orleans, where he met with such known Marcello associates as Harold Tannenbaum and Nofio Pecora, both of whom operated Bourbon Street strip joints. In the fall of ’63, Ruby made numerous telephone calls to both men. In Dallas, Jack Ruby owned two strip clubs and he reported directly to the two mob bosses of the city, Joseph Civello and Joseph Campisi. Both men were close associates of Marcello’s and in fact, served as his Dallas surrogates.

When Carlos Marcello won his acquittal in the federal court in New Orleans on Nov. 22, 1963, sitting at the defense table along with one of Marcello’s attorneys, G. Wray Gill, was none other than David Ferrie, an investigator for Gill. Before Marcello’s victory party at his West Bank estate got underway, Ferrie and two of his companions set off on a mysterious trip to Houston and Galveston the evening of the assassination. From a public telephone booth outside a skating rink, Ferrie made and received several calls to individuals connected to Marcello and Ruby. One call he made was to the telephone number of the girlfriend of Lawrence Meyers, a Chicago mobster and friend of Marcello’s, who visited Ruby in Dallas the next day, Sat., Nov. 23. The following day, Ruby murdered Oswald in the parking garage basement of Dallas Police Headquarters. Finally, John Martino, a mob associate of both Marcello and Trafficante, appeared to know exactly when and where the murder of the president would occur.

During one of his legal appeals, Jack Ruby stated that “the world will never know the true facts of what occurred … because these people who have put me in the position I’m in will never let the true facts come aboveboard to the world.” Ruby’s statement not only summarizes his murder of Oswald, but also that of the many enigmas of the Kennedy assassination. Although no concrete evidence proves that a conspiracy to kill the president originated in New Orleans, the city’s connection to the assassination remains one of its enduring mysteries.

Michael L. Kurtz is a Scholar-in-Residence in History and Southeastern Louisiana University and author of Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination From a Historian’s Perspective (Third Edition, 2013).

Ann Coulter and Free Speech

In a startling New Year’s Eve diatribe – demurely titled “The Anus Monologues” – Ann Coulter defended free speech by calling for the execution of those who disagree with her.
In the middle of her essay condemning liberal activists and the liberal media, Coulter tried to seize the moral high ground, going badly off track in the process. Coulter writes, “free speech existed even before we had a Constitution.” Actually, free speech wasn’t recognized and protected as a “right” until the Constitution (or, to be more precise, the Bill of Rights).
Further, Coulter conflates “shock troops of liberal agitators” with “government censoring speech.” Belaboring the point that “A&E is not the government,” Coulter misses the point that A&E is not the government. A&E can do what it wants. The free market (not the government) should decide its fate. Regarding censorship, the First Amendment really does only apply to the government (“Congress shall make no law …”), notwithstanding Coulter’s protestations.
But, in the name of free speech, Coulter wants to prohibit some people “from ever talking in public again.” Moreover, she concludes her essay advocating execution of the liberal press: “Cliché-spouting hack TV pundits: I recommend capital punishment.” (See The Gospel According to Ann Coulter for her extensive use of elimination rhetoric.)
Lauding conservatism and Scripture, Coulter denies both in practice and in temperament. Coulter’s hypocrisy and double standards are as self-evident as the nation’s founding principles that she cites.
Conservatives believe in free speech for conservatives and for liberals, for Christians and for non-Christians. The Constitution applies to all. Unlike Coulter, conservatives and Christians actually believe the self-evident truth that “all men are created equal” in the image of God, and, thus, all should be accorded due respect.
People are free to believe, or not believe, as they like. Jesus was about persuasion, not coercion.
Instead of vilifying “shock troops of liberal agitators,” conservatives and Christians would counter them with truth and grace, which is exactly why Robertson was so quickly restored by A&E.
Coulter champions the values of Duck Dynasty, but she fails miserably at living those values.

from Daniel Borchers

here is a link to Dan's website: CoulterWatch