A sweet gig for Buddy, one of Nashville's greatest.
Alison Krauss & Robert Plant @ Jools' Later 3
Added: May 10, 2008
Added: May 06, 2008
Vandals Hit Readyville Mill
MILL VANDALIZED -- A five gallon bucket of paint turned over on the Readyville Mill floor was only part of the damage vandals caused during a break-in last weekend. Extensive damage was done in the ice house portion of the property.
Vandals broke into the Readyville Mill last weekend and destroyed hours of work that Mill owner
Tomm Brady had put in trying to restore the historic site.
"I'm just sick and even cried when I walked in and saw the damage," said Brady as he showed the
destruction caused by the vandals.
"I worked here last Sunday and left about I :00 P.M. and was called by Mary Reed that the damage had
been done," said Brady.
Mary Reed, co-owner of Russell's Market, which sits in front of the Mill property, saw an open door
Monday evening about 7:00 P.M.
"I Usually walk in the afternoon and I noticed the open door to the Yce House but I thought Tomm had
forgot to shut it when he left," Reed said.
The old ice house was the area where the vandals spray painted Vulgar and racial slurs all over the
walls and turned over a five gallon bucket of paint on the refinished floors.
Brady, who was visibly upset, during the tour of the damaged building" has been restoring the old
mill for over two years by himself.
The Mill is on the National Historic Register.
Each day he drives over from Shelbyville to tackle another project at the Mill and has made dramatic
changes since the work began two years ago when Brady and his wife purchased the mill and surrounding
property which includes the dam across the road, totaling about five acres.
Cannon County Sheriff Billy Nichols and Deputy Aaron Hillis saw first hand the damage and gave Brady some consolation. "I will have my deputies do extra patrol in this area starting tonight,"said Sheriff Nichols.
Brady stated that he has had trouble when youths parking on his property and going to the river to swim.
"I have tried to be nice to these people, but you can go down to the swimming area and see the trash of beer cans, needles and other items they leave behind," said Brady. "I think I can sand out most of the spray paint graffiti on the walls but it will take some time and a lot of work."
Sheriff Nichols warned several swimmers who were in the area Monday during the investigation that the Mill area was private property and citations would be written to those violating the No Trespassing signs posted on the property.
"Mr. Brady has done a tremendous amount of work here in restoring the Mill and it is a shame to see the damage caused by a few people who had nothing better to do," said Sheriff Nichols.
Investigators Vance Walker and Charlie Wilder inspected the room that suffered the most damage and found fingerprints and collected other evidence that will hopefully lead to an arrest.
The Cannon County Historical Society was scheduled to meet at the Mill on Monday evening, May 19 for their quarterly meeting.
"The meeting will be held but I just won't be able to let everyone see all the building," said Brady. "I don't want those folks to see the terrible writing that was painted on the walls."
The Sheriff's Department is asking for help from citizens in the community. "If anyone remembers seeing anything over the weekend, a parked car or recognized someone in the area please call us. The tip will remain anonymous and it might lead us to the suspects," said Sheriff Nichols.
The new number at the Jail is 563-1000 and ask for Investigators Charlie Wilder or Vance Walker.
Brady is a gifted craftsman. He has done all the work himself, putting up paneling, rebuilding stone walls, mechanical, carpentry, painting and electrical and the list goes on and on.
The Mill actually ceased production in the early 1980s and one can imagine the state of disrepair the building became just sitting there with no daily maintenance.
The early history of the Mill dates back to 1878 when Charles Ready, the original owner died and the Mill was purchased by Robert Carter from Charles' son in law, Peter Talley.
Over the course of over 100 years the Mill changed hands several times. During those years theReadyville Mill provided corn meal, flour, lumber, ice, electricity and a machine shop to residents from Cannon and Rutherford counties.
In 1935 Leslie and George Justice purchased the Mill and installed turbines and replaced the grinding stones with steel rollers to produce the flour.
Brady stated when he purchased the Mill that it was basically "something to keep him busy" and it has for over two years.
Future plans even include the opening of a restaurant on the property. The possibilities go on and on as does Tomm's love of the Mill.
Source: The Cannon Courier, 5-27-08
Videos of Readyville Mill 2008
What the hell is Barack Obama talking about?
He says that America should be talking with leaders in Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, Korea, Syria. Fine. But he calls this “talking with our enemies.”
Let’s get something straight. Enemies are people who are fighting against you, who are trying to destroy you. Is Cuba fighting against America? Is Iran fighting against America? Is Venezuela fighting against America? Syria? China? No. These countries may be rivals, but they are not enemies.
The closest we come to having an actual enemy in today’s world is North Korea, where we are technically still in some kind of truce following a hot war, but of course that war itself has been over for half a frigging century, and nobody has been killing anyone on the Korean Peninsula in decades.
The truth is, America doesn’t have any real enemies, except for the ones it has made for itself in Iraq and Afghanistan, and of course the Al Qaeda organization. But Al Qaeda is a gang of terrorists, not a country, and in Afghanistan it is movement, the Taliban, once the government of that country, which we overthrew. And even there, where we have enemies, talk is better than war. It is obvious that at some point if we are ever to exit from Iraq and Afghanistan, there will have to be talks with the people we are fighting. Afghanistan’s leaders have said this—that there will have to be talks with the Taliban. And Bush’s own “Iraq Study Group,” headed by former Republican Secretary of State James Baker and former Democratic Congressman Lee Hamilton, concluded that the US will have to negotiate to settle the Iraq conflict. Both those processes should be begun immediately, not after more thousands have been killed.
By calling other countries “enemies,” Obama fell into a trap of his own making, though admittedly, he’s not the first to define all these rival nations as enemies. It’s a logical outcome of the Bush/Cheney position that “either you’re with us or you’re against us.”
Instead of buying into that nonsense, Obama should have questioned the premise. Then he wouldn’t be in the mess he’s in now, trying to fine-tune whom he would talk to and whom he wouldn’t talk to. Erstwhile Democratic presidential candidate and former Alaskan Senator Mike Gravel had it right when, during an early TV “debate” before the media decided to black him out, he replied to the moderator’s stupid question to all the candidates of “Who, after Iran, are America’s biggest enemies?” He challenged the premise, asking, “Iran’s not our enemy. Who are we afraid of? We don’t have any enemies.” He got one of the biggest applauses of the evening for that.
As for the basic point—talking with people we have disagreements or rivalries with—it is obvious that not talking is idiotic, and gets you nowhere—or worse, into a war.
Let’s take Cuba. For exactly half a century since its Communist revolution, we have treated Cuba like a mortal enemy, blockading the country, forcing other countries to join us in an embargo (an act of war, by the way), plotting and attempting to assassinate the country’s leader, Fidel Castro, and financing and supporting an obsessed group of dispossessed rich Cubans who want to return the island to its mob-infested, neo-colonial days. In those 50 years, the only thing not talking has accomplished has been the impoverishment of two generations of Cubans. Meanwhile, of course, the US has talked, conceded, caved in, given in, pandered and invested in China, another Communist country that, unlike Cuba, actually has fought against the US (in Korea, by proxy in Vietnam, and against an ally, Taiwan). There is clearly no logical reason for not talking with Cuba, and if we were talking with Cuba, life there would be better, and no doubt, things would be better here, too.
Iran is another example. It is known that when the US invaded Iraq, in 2003, Iran tried desperately to initiate talks with the US. The Bush/Cheney administration didn’t want to talk. It was calling Iran an “Axis of Evil” nation. Had talks begun, there might not even be a nuclear dispute today. Indeed, there might not even have been a rivalry. Instead, we now have the Bush/Cheney administration pushing forward for plans to attack Iran.
We could go back to Iraq, too, of course. Before the US launched its attack, Saddam Hussein was telling the Bush/Cheney administration he was willing to leave the country. All he wanted was a safe haven like Idi Amin got, and a billion dollars. We were not told about this offer until years later. Yet think how much cheaper that solution, arrived at through a little talking, would have been than what we got through not talking. Instead of letting Hussein run off with a billion of his own ill-gotten wealth, we’ve spent close to a trillion dollars, killed upwards of a million innocent Iraqis, destroyed a country, driven four million people in a nation of 24 million into exile, ruined America’s global reputation, and bankrupted the US treasury, not to mention running up the price of oil four-fold.
Talk is cheap, I’d say.
Obama should be more forthright and admit that America has no enemies, and that we can talk to anyone.
With Memorial Day now just a memory, the summer music festival season is on -- and with it, special drug law enforcement aimed at festival goers in what could be called a form of cultural profiling. If years past are any indicator, music lovers should be prepared to encounter everything from announced "Drug Checkpoints" that aren't -- they are instead traps to lure the freaked out -- to real, unconstitutional, highway drug checkpoints masquerading as "safety checks" (complete with drug dogs) to undercover cops working inside the festival grounds themselves.
The police enforcement actions are already getting underway. Last weekend, the 2008 Summer Camp Festival in Chillicothe, Illinois, drew some 13,000 fans to hear a diverse line-up of bands including the Flaming Lips, George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic, Blind Melon, the Roots, and the New Pornographers. It also drew city and state police, who claimed 20 drug arrests -- for marijuana, ecstasy, and LSD -- between them in and around the festival.
The police were pleased. "I think a lot of it had to do with all of the agencies getting together before the event and really planning out our attack," Chillicothe Police Chief Steven Maurer told local HOI-19 TV News. "Our goal is to prevent it from coming in and that's what we did a lot of."
Meanwhile, down in northeast Georgia, some other law enforcement agencies had also gotten together to plan an attack. This one wasn't aimed directly at concert-goers, but at the highway-traveling public in general. In what the Northeast Georgian described as "one of the county's largest highway interdiction and safety checks in at least five years," personnel from the Habersham County Sheriff's Office, Northeast Georgia Drug Task Force, Georgia National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia Department of Public Safety Motor Carrier Compliance Unit, Lee Arrendale State Prison, Phillips State Prison and Cornelia Police Department participated in a 24-hour checkpoint on a local highway.
Police bragged about the success of their checkpoint, which netted 74 arrests, 31 of them for drug offenses. "It worked well, I thought," said Habersham County Sheriff De Ray Fincher. "The operation resulted in a seizure of $36,000 in illegal drugs. And a total amount of currency, drugs and vehicles seized is estimated to have a value of $82,000."
Police did write some tickets for traffic offenses, Fincher told WNEG-TV 32 News. "We got a lot of people with no insurance, no driver's license or suspended license," he said. And some pot smokers: "The majority of our cases were marijuana cases; however, we did get several methamphetamine and we got one case of cocaine," Fincher explained.
In a 2000 Supreme Court decision, Indianapolis v. Edmonds, the high court held that indiscriminate highway drug checkpoints were unconstitutional since motorists were being stopped without suspicion for a law enforcement -- not a public safety -- purpose.
But Fincher was open about his constitutionally-suspect highway checkpoint. "We are trying to do everything we can to prevent drug activity in Habersham County, whether it's just passing through or stopping here," he said, noting that drug arrests in the county were on the rise. "That just means we've taken a real aggressive approach to drug enforcement."
"In the wake of the Indianapolis case, law enforcement has tried to figure out ways to still conduct drug checkpoints that comport with that ruling," said Adam Wolf of the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project. "Intent is the name of the game. If the intent is to conduct a checkpoint basically for law enforcement purposes, that's not okay. If it's for public safety purposes, such as sobriety checkpoints, that is okay."
A constitutional challenge to any given checkpoint would turn on intent, said Wolf. "If it turns out the intent was primarily to be a drug checkpoint, that would be an unreasonable search and not comply with the Constitution," he said. "That kind of checkpoint should be shut down, but it would take someone to challenge it."
Noting Sheriff Fincher's report of cash and goods seized, Wolf suggested the purpose of the checkpoints could really be about something other than law enforcement or public safety. "So often these things are being done to fund law enforcement agencies. Asset forfeiture is really a cash cow," he said.
Whether the checkpoints or other special law enforcement tactics are to raise money, wage the drug war, or indeed for "public safety," experts consulted by the Chronicle sang a remarkably similar song: Be prepared, don't be stupid, and don't give away your rights.
"The most efficient way to get arrested for marijuana possession short of blowing pot smoke in an officer's face is to smoke marijuana while driving or parked in your car, especially on the way to a festival," said Steven Silverman of the civil liberties group Flex Your Rights, which has released a video instructing people how to flex theirs. "You have a minimal expectation of privacy, and it reeks. Officers can smell it, and if they can smell it, that's probable cause to search you."
"Keep your private items out of view," recommended the ACLU's Wolf. A baggie full of weed on the front seat is all the probable cause an officer needs to search the vehicle and arrest the owner.
If you are stopped at a checkpoint (or pulled over for any reason) and you haven't provided police probable cause to search you or your vehicle, now is the time to exercise your rights. People in such situations should be polite but assertive, the experts said.
"If you are pulled over by police for any reason, the officers are very likely to ask you to consent to a search," said Silverman. "Don't do it. Never, ever consent under any circumstances. It might be couched in terms of a command, but it is a request. If you consent, you are waiving your Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. They won't 'go easier' on you; anything they find, they will confiscate, and arrest you and put you in jail. Don't do their job for them."
"There is no circumstance I can imagine where you should ever consent to a search," agreed NORML's Stroup. "If you give permission, you waive your Fourth Amendment protections. They may say it'll go easier if you cooperate, but that's bullshit. Their only reason for being there is to see if you have contraband and arrest you and put you in jail if you do."
"Just say no to warrantless searches," echoed the ACLU's Wolf. "Officers won't tell you you have the right not to consent, but you do, and it is one that people have held dear since the founding of the Republic."
There are other highway hazards for the unwary festival-goer. Law enforcement can be creative in its unending war on drug users and sellers.
"Anybody driving to see his favorite band should also be aware of fake drug checkpoints," said Silverman. "Drug checkpoints are unconstitutional, but what some sheriffs will do close to festival sites is set up a big 'Drug Checkpoint Ahead' sign, and then watch who turns off the highway at the next ramp or who throws something out his car window. Then they pull them over for littering or failure to signal a lane change or something. If you see such a sign, keep driving -- it's a bluff designed to see who it scares."
"When you see a sign like that, proceed ahead within the speed limit, driving safely through the area," advised Wolf.
Wolf has problems with the harassment of festival-goers that run deeper than particular law enforcement tactics. "Profiling based on race is not okay, profiling based on gender is not okay, and profiling based on the type of concert you attend is not okay," he said. "It's unreasonable and unjustifiable for police to target a group of people because they are going to any particular type of concert."
"Simply having a Grateful Dead sticker or dreadlocks doesn't constitute reasonable suspicion of anything," agreed Silverman.
But in the real world, it can. Festival-goers and other highway travelers need to be aware of their rights, as well as the realities of life in the contemporary US, as they hit the highway this summer.
And one last thing once you actually make it to the festival. "There's a big myth out there that police officers must reveal if they're an undercover cop," said Silverman. "That's wrong, and it's stupid to believe that. Police officers can and do legally lie in doing their jobs. Believing that has probably led to thousands of people being arrested."http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/538/summer_festival_drug_law_enforcement
If the recently concluded HBO series The Wire is arguably the most aesthetically accomplished fictional indictment of the decades-long war on drugs, there is no shortage of contenders for the most absurd bit of prohibitionist agitprop, from the unintentionally hilarious 1936 movie Tell Your Children (better known as Reefer Madness) to the widely parodied 1987 public service announcement in which the role of "your brain on drugs" is played by an egg frying in a skillet to an early 1990s TV ad in which the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles counsel a grammar school kid offered a fistful of joints ("Get a teacher," advise the Turtles, "get a pizza, get real").
Then there's the latest offering sponsored by the Office of National Drug Control Policy's National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, a mockumentary called Stoners in the Mist, featuring a pith-helmet-wearing narrator explaining the strange customs of the slack-jawed, amotivational, Lava lamp-loving inhabitants of "Cannabis Isle." Online at abovetheinfluence.com and featuring squirrely navigation and a rhythmic drum track more stupefying than anything produced by Cheech & Chong, Stoners underscores what most Americans already knew: Real winners don't do anti-drug websites.
Here's a short magical mystery tour, culled from the foggy memories of reason's editors, of decades of advertising and small-screen messages that inadvertently made childhood just a little more bearable. And drugs—even NoDoz—just a little cooler.
"Marijuana...is the Hula Hoop of the Jet Generation!" Produced in the late 1960s by the American Medical Association, this anti-cannabis commercial featured animation groovier than the film Yellow Submarine and a detailed list of just how fun it is to get high. "The human brain," notes the serioso narrator, "is hardly a Tinker Toy." But judging from the spot's graphics, it sure looks like one, especially if you've been smoking dope.
Dragnet's "Blue Boy" Episode. Clocking in at number 85 in TV Guide's 1997 list of the best TV episodes ever, this segment told just the facts about LSD-and a face-painting hippie called Blue Boy, who overdosed on the stuff after being arrested by Sgt. Joe Friday, played by three-pack-a-day smoker Jack Webb, who died in real life of a heart attack at age 62. Honorable mention: the "Big High" episode, in which two cannabis-craving parents get stoned and let their child drown in a bathtub. "After 25 years on the job, it's finally happened," groans Friday's partner, Bill Gannon. "I'm going to be sick."
Sonny Bono's Secret Message. "If you become a pothead," the curiously speech-slurring future congressman warned in this 1970 PSA, "you risk blowing the most important time of your life: Your teen age [sic]." The pitch might have been more effective if Bono's eyes weren't quite so red--or his jumpsuit so golden and shimmery.
Stop the Madness! This star-and-monkey-studded mid-'80s video is the Citizen Cocaine of Nancy Reagan's Just Say No campaign. (The First Lady even has a cameo.) Featuring past and future drug users ranging from Arnold Schwarzenegger to David Hasselhoff to Whitney Houston-and a spasticated spider monkey dancing to the strains of a Herb Alpert trumpet solo-"Stop the Madness" didn't just make a case for getting high (anything to stop the "Stop the Madness" video!). The title track previewed the lockdown that has given the U.S. the highest rate of incarceration in the world: "You thought that using dope would be a party/Now you're a prisoner in a cell crying to be free."
Heavy Metal Drug Addicts Destroy Communism. In August 1989, what The New York Times described as "thundering hordes of Western heavy-metal rock" acts, including Motley Crue, Ozzie Osbourne, Skid Row, and Bon Jovi, played at the Soviet-sanctioned Moscow Music Peace Festival as guitar-grinding "ambassadors of peace and temperance." The concert, which was broadcast to the West on MTV, was created by the American impresario Doc McGhee as part of a parole deal stemming from a 1987 conviction for marijuana importation. The Berlin Wall fell a scant 14 weeks later-long before Ozzy or Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx entered rehab.
I'm So Excited by Caffeine Pills! In a 1990 episode of the crypto-kiddie-porn high school sitcom Saved by the Bell, Jessie (played by Elizabeth Berkeley, later to triumph as a bare-it-all-to-get-ahead dancer in Showgirls) gets hooked on caffeine pills while studying for a big math test and rehearsing for a singing audition. Her friends' intervention comes soon enough to save Jessie from the ultimate coffee high but not before the audience hears her espresso-distorted version of the Pointer Sisters' anthem of chemically free overexuberance, "I'm So Excited!"
Pee-Wee Herman Says No to Crack-and Jail Time. "Everyone wants to be cool," the uber-ironic Saturday morning children's show host admits in this ad made as part of a sentencing deal after Pee-Wee's 1991 arrest for masturbating in a Florida movie theater. "But doing it with crack isn't just wrong. It could be dead wrong."
One Frying Pan Can Ruin Your Whole Kitchen. Riffing off the legendary 1987 ad "This Is Your Brain on Drugs," this 1999 spot created by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America features an underweight model personifying heroin chic, who explains the downside of smack (a drug regularly used by less than 0.1 percent of Americans) by smashing up a kitchen with a cast-iron frying pan.
If you're interested in related fare, check out The Best Week Ever's "10 Funniest Anti-Drug Commercials in Advertising History" and 10 Zen Monkey's "Five Druggiest High School Sitcom Scenes."
And if you're still locked in a terminal buzz from watching so many videos online after your coffee break, contribute a little more to the declining productivity of the American economy by watching the infamous episode of Quincy, M.E., that answers the musical question, "Can punk rock kill?"
Nick Gillespie is editor of reason.com and reason.tv. A version of this appeared in the June reason.
Has the need for these contributions become so important that our politicians would willingly forsake the real interests of the United States in order to pursue those contributions? Here are just three comments delivered by our current Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi in a speech to AIPAC at the 2005 treason fest with some editorial comments by your own Liberal White Boy.(This is same year that AIPAC's Rosen and Weissman were caught handing over classified secrets at the Israeli embassy).
"One thing, however is unchanged: America's commitment to the safety and security of the State of Israel is unwavering. America and Israel share an unbreakable bond: in peace and war; and in prosperity and in hardship.
Why? Why should Americans care about Israel anymore than any other country? We have no formal alliances with Israel. Israel has never come to our aid in any war, not even in the Middle East. Their assistance would have been detrimental to our causes. Israel is despised throughout most of Arab world, not because of the fraud called anti-Semitism, but because these pretenders stole the Palestinians land from them and have brutalized and ethnically cleansed its people for sixty years.
“Prime Minister Sharon's leadership of Israel at this crucial time has been remarkable. He has brought Israel through an extremely challenging period, and now he has made the difficult decision that it is in Israel's national security interest to disengage from Gaza.
Yes this is the same leader that presided over Israel as its Mossad agents/terrorists watched the hijackers for a year before 9/11 and didn't tell us. He deserved the Speaker of the House's accolades. This piece of garbage allowed 9/11 to happen.
"In the next few months, Israeli settlers will be evacuated entirely from Gaza and from four settlements in the northern West Bank. This courageous decision is gut-wrenching for Israel.
Yes dragging a bunch of crazy Hebrew extremists off of their stolen land in Gaza and moving them to more defensible stolen land on the West Bank takes a lot of courage. All that gut wrenching(and we are talking about a rather large gut when speaking of Ariel Sharon) probably caused the stroke leading to Diaper Dan Sharon's current vegetative state.
But this is what are Congress has become. So very sad. It's time for a trim.
Hey Kids. Can you pick out the cow in this picture? Now can you pick out the war criminal?
As we dig deeper into the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, things get curiouser and curiouser, as Alice would say.
It seems there are some things that people just "know." There are no such things as ghosts, astrology and psychic powers are just ploys used to get money from the gullible, the chances that Earth will be hit by a comet within our lifetimes are astronomical (forgive the pun) and everyone deep inside is basically the same: just trying to be good as they understand it.
The strange thing about this kind of "knowing" is that no one can tell you just how they know. Ask them how they know that two plus two equals four and they will have at least a vague recollection of their early school years. But ask them how they know about ghosts, astrology, psychics, comets and the psychology of the rest of humanity and you'll likely get a response that is something akin to, "Everybody just knows that." But the question bothers me. Just when did "everyone" learn these things and why can't they remember having learned them?
Here, we find a key to how people can be coerced into taking part in a conspiracy they know nothing about. It is the beliefs they hold, masquerading as knowledge or "common wisdom"&--beliefs that will paradoxically be defended more vociferously than 2+2=4--that are skillfully manipulated by the perception managers.
Throughout our lives, rarely anything happens to trigger a fear of ghosts, aside from the occasional scary movie that is easily dismissed as the product of the scriptwriter's imagination. We live our lives blissfully unaware of that part of us, still very much alive in our minds but normally quiet, that does believe in ghosts and knows that there is compelling evidence for the reality of spirit.
If we were to find ourselves alone in a drafty, creaky old house on a dark, windy night, we would be forced to face that part of ourselves. Despite what we would claim to believe in the movie theater or in the bright sunlight, our fears of things unseen would begin to creep up the back or our neck and cause the hair to stand up. We would find ourselves involuntarily looking behind, just to be sure there is nothing there.
And when we find the evidence that our fears were unjustified and childish--the banging shutter or the gap in the window through which the wind whistled--we would laugh at our gullibility and feel a palpable sense of relief that sanity had been returned to the world. And even if something inexplicable actually does happen, we rush to explain it away even at the cost of lying to ourselves.
We specifically look for the evidence that our fears are unfounded because the key to our beliefs, that "common knowledge" without a remembered lesson, is a desire for a world that is fully knowable, under control and, ultimately, safe for us. We want to believe that our most dire fears are only the product of our overactive imaginations. And when those fears are triggered, any "rational" explanation that returns sanity to the world is welcomed with open arms.
Even many of the most ardent seekers of truth have fears and beliefs they keep deeply buried under stones that must never be turned. It is a childish belief--not the belief in ghosts, but the belief that ignorance, masquerading as common wisdom, provides safety. So, we see even vehemently outspoken critics of the U.S. government label as conspiracy theorists of the lowest order those who would dare claim that, as an example, 9/11 was the product of anything but Arab hijackers.
This is how it is with events like 9/11 or the assassinations of JFK, MLK and RFK. For a moment, our deepest fears seem realized. We madly grope for something, anything, that will return sanity to the world. We desperately look for the banging shutter or broken window that will assure us there is nothing unseen, nothing unknowable and, ultimately, nothing really unsafe. In this way, each of us can be made, is made, a part of the conspiracy even without realizing that the conspiracy exists.
And now, on with our story...
The Woman in the Polka Dot Dress
Sandy Serrano, a young campaign worker for Kennedy, was there at the Ambassador Hotel the scary night that Bobby Kennedy died. Needing a break from the heat and the crowd, she found a little quiet on the steps that lead from the back of the kitchen area. Somewhere around 11:30 pm, she encountered three people, a woman and two men, entering the kitchen from the back, using the stairs she was sitting on. The woman she would described as wearing a white dress with dark polka dots and having a "Bob Hope" type nose. The two men with her were described as,
White male (Latin extraction), 5'5" tall, 21 to 23 years old, olive complexion, black hair, long - straight, hanging over his forehead and needed a haircut. [The other was] white male (Mexican American), about 23 years of age, 5'3" tall, curly, bushy hair and wore light colored clothes. She said after seeing a picture of Sirhan Sirhan in the newspaper she felt certain that this was the same person she saw go up the stairs with this woman. [Turner and Christian; The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, The Conspiracy and Coverup]
Sometime later, seconds after Serrano heard what she described as sounding like automobile backfires, the woman and one of her male companions came running back down the stairs. According to Serrano, the woman was yelling, "We shot him, we shot him." When asked who they shot, she replied, "Senator Kennedy."
Serrano was not the only one to describe the woman in the polka dot dress and associate her with Sirhan and/or the assassination. Amongst them was Kennedy campaign worker Darnell Johnson and the son of an Ambassador Hotel maître d', Thomas Vincent DiPierro. DiPierro said that the only reason he noticed Sirhan was that there was a very good looking girl next to him. According to DiPierro,
I would never forget what she looked like because she had a very good looking figure - and the dress was kind of lousy...it looked like a white dress and it had either black or dark-purple polka dots on it.
Minutes after the shooting and well before any of the stories of the woman in the white dress had been made public or could have been shared, LAPD Sergeant Paul Sharaga heard news of the shooting on his police radio. Already in the vicinity, he arrived at the scene within a minute. An older couple approached Sharaga and, as he tells it:
They related that they were outside one of the doors of the Embassy Room when a young couple in their early twenties came rushing out. This couple seemed to be in a state of glee, shouting, "We shot him, we shot him, we killed him." The woman stated that she asked the lady, "Who did you shoot?" or "Who was shot?" and the young lady replied, "Kennedy, we shot him, we killed him."
The only defining characteristic of the young lady that the witnesses could give was that she was wearing a white dress with polka dots. Sharaga immediately put out an all point bulletin for police to be on the lookout for a woman in a polka dot dress in the company of a man.
And then something very strange happened that, as far as we know, has never happened before or since in the history of the LAPD. For about 15 to 20 minutes, all police radio communications were lost on all frequencies. This was ample time for the woman in the polka dot dress and her companion to get off the streets and out of reach of the police.
The elderly couple Sharaga had interviewed were lost and have never come forward. Serrano, being the sole witness to the woman in the polka dot dress claiming, "We shot Kennedy" was brought to the notorious Rampart Division of the LAPD for extensive questioning. I encourage you to follow the link on the Rampart Division. The story of the ongoing corruption in the LAPD and the Rampart Division in particular is very informative. The Bobby Kennedy assassination is not the only one in which the Rampart Division has taken part.
In this case, however, the witness was not so much questioned as she was browbeaten and verbally tortured into renouncing her testimony. The "questioning" was performed by Sergeant Enrique "Hank" Hernandez who, according to his resume, played a key role in "Unified Police Command" training for the CIA in Latin America. As is clear from the questioning, Hernandez had one goal in mind - to discredit Sandy Serrano and anything having to do with the story of the woman in the polka dot dress.
Here, for your listening pleasure, are two excerpts from that taped session which, amazingly, survived after the LAPD had attempted to destroy all evidence that would discount the official story of the assassination of Robert Kennedy. Keep in mind as you listen that Sgt. Hernandez is allegedly questioning a material witness who has nothing to gain from lying.
Serrano and Hernandez part 1
Serrano and Hernandez part 2
A thread of the web
Hernandez played a key role in the special LAPD task force created to investigate the Kennedy Assassination, called Special Unit Senator, or SUS. SUS was headed by LAPD Lieutenant Manuel Pena.
Interestingly, Pena had officially retired from the LAPD in November of 1967, less than a year before the Kennedy assassination, to take a position with the Agency for International Development Office of the State Department, or AID; AID, a known cover agency for the CIA for its counter insurgency and torture operations in South America. AID is probably best known for one of its most infamous agents, a man who Pena allegedly had worked with, Dan Mitrione. From 1960 to 1967, Mitrione worked with the Brazilian government under the cover of AID, torturing then killing, without trial, political dissidents.
Though Pena's farewell was a well attended and publicized event, sometime around April 1968 he returned to the LAPD quietly, without fanfare. His explanation was that the job with AID had not turned out to be what he had hoped. Within two months, he would find himself in charge of the most important murder investigation every conducted by the LAPD, the man who would have the final say on virtually everything that would happen in the investigation.
And here, we have an interesting thread of web to examine. Two of the most important investigator's of the case, Hernandez and Pena, are both ex (or perhaps current at that time) CIA operatives, both involved in CIA operations in South America. Pena, the man running the entire investigation, had just returned from duty with AID, a CIA front organization that specialized in crushing political dissidents and likely worked with Dan Mitrione.
In 1970, Mitrione was kidnapped by the Tupamaros, a leftist guerrilla organization fighting against the U.S. sponsored dictatorship in Uruguay. Though his name was changed, that event was the basis of the movie State of Siege. Mitrione's funeral, much like Pena's "retirement" from the LAPD, was a well publicized and attended affair. Following his funeral, a benefit concert was held in his home town of Richmond, Indiana, headlined by none other than Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis (go figure).
Sinatra, as you may remember, was one of the stars of the John Frankenheimer film The Manchurian Candidate. The film is a fictional account of a man, played by Lawrence Harvey, who is hypnotically programmed to perform assassinations without conscious knowledge of doing so. Following the Kennedy assassination, Sinatra purchased the rights to The Manchurian Candidate and removed it from circulation until 1987.
On June 3rd, Bobby Kennedy had dinner with his friend John Frankenheimer (who, coincidentally, drove him to the Ambassador Hotel that fateful night) along with a pretty actress named Sharon Tate and her husband, Roman Polanski.
Now, please bear with me as we descend into something of an abyss. When trying to see the web, we run across strange coincidences that may seem on the surface to be tenuous, improbable or even downright laughable. It's the nature of the beast. If you want to know what is really going on, these things must at least be put on the table, even if they are discarded later. Remember, though, webs are tenuous things made from very delicate threads. Often times, the most obvious and easily accepted data turns out to be nothing more than something caught in the web - an artifact, if you will, rather than the web itself. That said, here we go.
In August 1969, Sharon Tate was murdered by members of the Manson Family, who had strong connections to the Laurel Canyon music scene. Curiously, the year Kennedy was shot Sharon Tate was in the process of making a film entitled The Wrecking Crew, which co-starred Dean Martin. That same name was taken by a group of Los Angeles studio musicians associated with Phil Spector, who were also closely connected with the Laurel Canyon music scene. And Dean Martin, her costar in that film, was of course a long time collaborator with Jerry Lewis, who shared billing with Frank Sinatra at the Dan Mitrione benefit concert following his funeral. During the filming of that movie, Tate would be trained to do her own stunts by the martial arts expert Bruce Lee, with whom she would become close friends and who also later died under mysterious circumstances.
Tate, it should be noted for those who don't remember her, was a movie star on a meteoric rise. She was beautiful and talented. As the Hollywood Reporter stated concerning her role in The Wrecking Crew, "Sharon Tate reveals a pleasant affinity to scatterbrain comedy and comes as close to walking away with this picture as she did in a radically different role in Valley of the Dolls."
Tate, it should also be noted, had taken a keen interest in Bobby Kennedy's campaign. She was a frequent attendee at Kennedy campaign dinners. It's funny (and not in a humorous way) how often those in the public eye who take a political stance that is in favor of human rights, human dignity and simply doing the right thing are found in a pool of their own blood.
As for Dan Mitrione, he was not the only famous former resident of Richmond, Indiana. For a fairly small town (the 2000 census shows a population of only 39,124) it has had more than its fair share of celebrity. Richmond can boast at least four NFL players, one of whom was a rookie of the year, an NFL coach, two NBA coaches, an Olympic gold medalist, Margaret Landon (the author of The King and I), Orville and Wilbur Wright, the legendary and cutting edge R&B singer Baby Huey and actress Polly Bergen along with Mitrione and a street preacher there who Mitrione befriended while he was Chief of Police in Richmond; a man by the name of Jim Jones.
But that is another story for another time.
More to come...
Source: Sott.netThe assassination of Robert Kennedy - Part 1
|Written by Ed Corrigan|
| Saturday, 31 May 2008 |
A new German owner has purchased Haaretz and a "Putsch is being carried out among reporting staff," in the most important and liberal Zionist paper in Israel. According to inside sources, the new owner has carried out a rough, sittingroom survey that revealed that "the occupation doesn't sell newspapers" and they are therefore concentrating on the business world (ie. The Marker). Twilight Zone, Gideon Levy's regular Friday column, has been scrapped, Amira Hass has been degraded to freelance on half salary, Meron Rapaport has been fired and Akiva Eldar has lost at least one half page a week.
The paper frequently allowed journalists critical of the Israeli occupation to publish articles that exposed the reality of the occupation to be exposed to the Israeli population and was circulated around the world. The new editorial direction is disturbing news. Haaretz was one of the few decent Israeli media outlets and showed that in Israel there was some respect for freedom of the press and critical discussion. This is a repeat of the situation when Conrad Black bought the Jerusalem Post and hired an Israeli censor to be publisher. The decent journalists all quit in protest, including Benny Morris back when he still had a moral conscience.
It reflects a more disturbing trend. Norman Finkelstein was recently denied entry into Israel and the West Bank. Bishop Desmond Tutu was denied entry into Israel too. Prominent Palestinian journalists are routinely denied exit visas by the Israelis to leave the Occupied Territories to go on speaking tours and a group of Palestinians students from Gaza were also recently denied exit visas to attend American universities after being granted Fulbright Scholarships from the American Government.
It appears that the Israelis are closing down many if not all of the sources of critical information coming out of Israel. The hypocracy of it all is that Israel complains that when the British Academic Union proposes a boycott of Israeli academic institutions as a way to pressure Israel and to protest Israel's policies toward the Palestinians the Israelis start to scream that the proposed boycott is a violation of freedom of speech and a violation of academic freedom. Israeli authorities have been crushing academic freedom and free speech for Palestinians, and even Israeli critics, for decades. Israel does not want its own population and the rest of the world to know what it is doing to the Palestinians.