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“The Kennedys” Miniseries Debuts on Reelz Channel

Television review: ‘The Kennedys’

Despite several strong lead performances, it turns out that even an eight-part miniseries can’t do justice to the story of one of the country’s most dynamic, if flawed, political families.

April 01, 2011|By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic

 

The main problem with “The Kennedys,” the rumor-plagued, eight-part series that was rejected by the History Channel, which had commissioned it, before landing at ReelzChannel, is not one of politics or even accuracy but of scope. It is impossible to tell the story of this iconic family even in eight parts, even by limiting the timeline, as creators Stephen Kronish and Joel Surnow have done, to the years between the beginnings of World War II and the assassination of Robert Kennedy. There is too much back story, too many important events, and too many Kennedys.

Kronish addresses the last of these problems by simply cutting the family in half. “The Kennedys” that the title refers to are Joe Sr. (Tom Wilkinson), Rose (Diana Hardcastle ), John F. (Greg Kinnear) and his wife, Jacqueline (Katie Holmes), Bobby (Barry Pepper) and his wife, Ethel (Kristin Booth). Fourth daughter Patricia is seen briefly in one of the later episodes, married to Peter Lawford and playing hostess to one of his Marilyn Monroe-studded soirees, while Rosemary, the victim of an early lobotomy, appears briefly in flashback. But Kathleen (who died in an airplane crash in 1948); Eunice, who founded the Special Olympics and was married to Kennedy advisor Sargent Shriver; Jean, who eventually became U.S. ambassador to Ireland; and Edward (Teddy), the longtime Massachusetts senator and onetime presidential candidate, are not only not present, they are never even mentioned.

Which is much more troubling than the various scenes of infidelity (Joe’s and Jack’s), election “rigging” (Joe’s), mob connections (Joe’s) and drug use (Jack’s and Jackie’s) that have apparently raised the blood pressure of Kennedy historians, History Channel execs and various industry watchers for reasons that, while watching the actual episodes, is inexplicable. There is nothing in “The Kennedys” that hasn’t appeared before in reputable books, films and articles in the Kennedy-obsessed “Vanity Fair.”

An argument could be made that a channel called “History” might want to avoid docudramas, which rely on artistic interpretation, but if it was the intention of producer Surnow, a political conservative, to sully the Kennedy name, he certainly went about it in a strange manner. Jack and Bobby emerge splendid, smart and heroic despite their flaws, and even Joe, though portrayed as a ruthlessly ambitious father and truly awful husband, appears in the end guilty of little more than old-time campaign tactics and a once-oppressed immigrant’s dream of joining the ruling class.

Casting went a long way toward balancing the script’s inclusion of the unsavory side of being a Kennedy. Wilkinson can do just about anything at this point in his career, and he illuminates equally Joe’s hubris and desperate fear of failure, while, with his perpetually worried eyes, Kinnear plays a JFK in constant pain — from his back, from his father’s expectations, from his own infidelities. Don Draper certainly never felt this guilty about getting a little on the side.

The revelation of “The Kennedys” is Pepper, most recently seen as the snaggletoothed villain in “True Grit,” who delivers an Emmy-deserving performance, slowly building a Bobby who becomes the family’s, and the Kennedy administration’s, spine of steel, aware of the choices and sacrifices he is making and prepared to make them every time. As attorney general, Bobby is the president’s hammer even as he attempts to be his conscience.

The scenes among these three men alone are worth trying to find out if you get ReelzChannel. Unfortunately, they are too often being moved through historical events as if they were chess pieces and are surrounded by a supporting cast not up to their level. Holmes is pretty as Jackie, but her emotions are confined to happy (“I love him”) and sad (“He cheats on me”), with absolutely no nuance and only the occasional flash of spirit, intellect and inner strength that made Jacqueline Kennedy an icon in her own right. As Ethel, Booth is almost unbearably perky in early episodes, although she mellows as the series unfolds; the scenes between Bobby and Ethel are far more poignant and powerful than those between Jackie and Jack. Hardcastle (married to Wilkinson) can’t do much with a Rose who spends most of the series saying her rosary and making pronouncements about God’s will in a broad Eastern accent — it isn’t until the final episode that mention is made of the crucial role Rose played in the political careers of her sons.

But she is just another victim of the genre’s biggest danger. In attempting to be both sprawling and intimate, “The Kennedys” winds up in a narrative no-man’s land. So the tensions of Bobby taking on organized crime, the riots in Mississippi, the Cuban missile crisis and the strained relationship of the brothers with J. Edgar Hoover and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson are treated with the same time constraints and dramatic emphasis as Joe’s endless “recovery” from his stroke and Jackie’s realization that being a first lady is difficult.

While this “greatest-hits” pace does take the potential sting from the more salacious details — Jack’s infidelities are few and far between, Frank Sinatra is blamed for any mob-related fallout, the pep-me-up shots Jack and Jackie receive do little more than pep them up — it also buries the fine performances of its leading men, who too often seem to be simply marching toward their characters’ inevitable doom.

mary.mcnamara@latimes.com

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New Gallup Poll: JFK Still Most Popular U.S. President

 

85% Says It All

 

According to a new Gallup Poll, President John F. Kennedy continues to earn the highest retrospective job approval rating from Americans, now 85%.

Ronald Reagan ranks second, with 74%. While these presidents’ ratings are largely unchanged from 2006, Bill Clinton’s rating has improved, putting him in third place, while Jimmy Carter, at 52%, has dropped from third to sixth. Richard Nixon remains the lowest rated.

The poll was limited to approval ratings for American presidents who have served in the past 50 years.

Approval of How Past Presidents Handled Their Job -- Recent Trend (2006, 2010)

The Nov. 19-21 Gallup poll asked Americans to say, based on what they know or remember about the nine most recent former presidents, whether they approve or disapprove of how each handled his job in office.

Kennedy has consistently ranked No. 1 in this Gallup measure initiated in 1990.

 

 

Read full story here: Kennedy Still Highest-Rated Modern President, Nixon Lowest.

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Opinion: History Channel Kennedy Miniseries will be “Shamalot”

 

The Kennedy Brothers

 

ISN’T ASSASSINATION ENOUGH?

LET THE KENNEDYS REST IN PEACE

Dear Friends —
 
I am taking time today to write and express my extreme displeasure with The History Channel’s planned miniseries The Kennedys. After reviewing portions of the draft script, I was floored by the sheer number of inaccuracies, distortions and omissions of essential facts in this docu-drama.
 
This is not what future generations should be learning about the presidency of John F. Kennedy.
 
As we reach the 50th anniversary of JFK’s inauguration this year, presenting an epic miniseries which is not only grossly inaccurate but clearly designed to assassinate the character of a president who gave his life for this country, is wholly unacceptable to me. 
 
My daily concern as a historian, author and museum curator is the quality of education we are giving our children in the field of history. As a radio/print journalist, Kennedy scholar, and founder of several websites devoted to the Kennedy family legacy, I have devoted 25 years of my life to providing accurate information to anyone who is interested in learning about our nation’s 35th president and his family.
 
So when I see a script like The Kennedys, proposed to air on (of all places) The History Channel, I shudder to think of the potential and far-reaching consequences.
 
When fiction is presented as fact, that is entertainment. It is not history and has no place on The History Channel.
 
I am also highly offended that the same History Channel which brought us such outstanding documentaries as JFK: A Presidency Revealed and Turner’s The Men Who Killed Kennedy would ever stoop this low, becoming little more than a mouthpiece for right-wing rumormongering and propaganda the likes of which we would expect from Fox News.
 
Many of my fellow historians and researchers have joined together to let the History Channel know how we feel. We must try and stop this miniseries from being produced as currently written.
 
Please ask The History Channel to allow JFK’s living decendants, friends and key advisors – as well as credible historians and researchers – to consult on production of The Kennedys miniseries. Then, and only then, can we rest assured that this presentation on the Kennedy family is truly “fair and balanced.” 
 
Please take a few minutes to learn more about The Kennedys miniseries here:

History channel draws flak for planned JFK miniseries

Pittsburgh Post Gazette – Dave Itzkoff – ‎Feb 19, 2010‎

 Also please visit the website http://StopKennedySmears.com to view a short film directed by Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films which features interviews with Ted Sorensen, David Talbot, Nigel Hamilton, Rick Perlstein, David Nasaw and other Kennedy historians expressing their shock and outrage at this deeply-flawed production. You can view some excerpts of the script and decide for yourself is this is what you want your grandchildren to know about President Kennedy and his family. 

If Jack Kennedy were alive today, he’d surely sue them for defamation of character and win. But since he’s sadly not here to defend himself, looks like it’s going to be up to those of us who still care to speak up before it’s too late. 

If you agree, I hope you will add your name to the petition at StopKennedySmears.com and tell the History Channel to present real history. 

Thank You,
 
 
New Frontier
Founding Editor

 

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Eunice Kennedy Shriver: A Very Special Lady

 

 

EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER:

 A VERY SPECIAL LADY

* I posted this personal rememberance of Mrs. Shriver on my dear friend Jack Kennedy’s MySpace blog (and you thought they didn’t have computers in heaven!).  Wanted to share it with all of you who loved this amazing woman!

 

– New Frontier
Founding Editor

Dearest Jack –

I always had such a great admiration for your sister Eunice.

During your time in the Oval Office, America had yet to experience the women’s rights revolution and few women worked outside the home, much less achieved positions of global leadership. Eunice, in her characteristic “I don’t give a damn what anybody thinks, I’m going to do it anyway” style, smashed that barrier and showed us all just what a woman could do.

In the 1960s, when America was more concerned with civil rights and equal treatment of blacks and racial minorities, no one gave much thought to the mentally disabled. Quite frankly, the Kennedys might not have given the matter much gravity either had it not struck their own family in such a heartbreaking way. Eunice, in her characteristic “I don’t give a damn what anybody thinks, I’m going to do it anyway” style, smashed that barrier too and showed us all what supposedly “retarded” people could do.

It is important to remember that the first such games were not held in a large arena before thousands of people with television cameras rolling as it was in 1968. What would later become known as the Special Olympics started out in 1962 as a small athletic competition in Eunice’s backyard. Little publicity was given at the time (even though the organizer of these Olympic trials was the president’s sister…newsworthy in itself), which tellingly illustrates just how little America cared about our “special needs” citizens back then. 

For centuries Americans looked down upon the mentally disabled persons in their communities, and even felt ashamed of their own family members who were “different.” The Kennedys themselves avoided acknowledging Rosemary’s struggle – oftentimes even her very existence – for political reasons, knowing that people might not be inclined to vote for a man who had a “retarded” sister. Of course this made no sense whatsoever, but it was the cultural climate of the time. And so poor Rosemary, confined for life to an institution, had all but been forgotten.

But not by Eunice!

No one ever asked Eunice to lift a finger to help the mentally disabled. No one ever asked her to start a foundation for their betterment and to fight against the discrimination they suffered in our society. In fact, it would have been much better politically had she left well enough alone and not made an issue of it. But Eunice, in her characteristic “I don’t give a damn what anybody else thinks, I’m going to do it anyway” style, brought this important civil rights issue to the forefront, against the seemingly wise counsel of her own family’s political advisers.

Turns out the “experts” were wrong. Eunice was right. The Special Olympics has now expanded to nearly every country across the globe. Thanks to Eunice’s tireless efforts over almost half a century, the human race now takes a far more enlightened view of the mentally disabled.

Helping advance the cause of fairness and equal treatment of our world’s ignored, misunderstood, and oft-mistreated brothers and sisters was something Eunice Kennedy Shriver just had to do –  and I for one am so glad she did it.

Only a woman like Eunice could have done it. She was one very, very special lady; what people of your generation used to call “a real go-getter!”

And you, my dear Jack, were so fortunate to have this brilliant, glowing soul as your little sister. (Of course I don’t have to tell *you* that!) She was all that you admired; a fighting Irish spitfire and a true profile in courage!

I hope the two of you are enjoying your long-awaited family reunion in heaven.

May the circle be unbroken.

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What Advice Would JFK Give President Obama on the Economy?

MEMO TO PRESIDENT OBAMA

 

RE: HOW TO FIX THE ECONOMY

FROM: PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY

If passed by the senate this week, your economic stimulus bill will not fix the nation’s problem.

It’s the Federal Reserve, stupid.

TIME FOR A LITTLE HISTORY LESSON

President John F.Kennedy,
The Federal Reserve
And Executive Order 11110

by Cedric X

On June 4, 1963, a little known attempt was made to strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the government at interest. On that day President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order No. 11110 that returned to the U.S. government the power to issue currency, without going through the Federal Reserve.

Mr. Kennedy’s order gave the Treasury the power “to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury.” This meant that for every ounce of silver in the U.S. Treasury’s vault, the government could introduce new money into circulation. In all, Kennedy brought nearly $4.3 billion in U.S. notes into circulation. The ramifications of this bill are enormous.

With the stroke of a pen, Mr. Kennedy was on his way to putting the Federal Reserve Bank of New York out of business. If enough of these silver certificates were to come into circulation they would have eliminated the demand for Federal Reserve notes. This is because the silver certificates are backed by silver and the Federal Reserve notes are not backed by anything.

Executive Order 11110 could have prevented the national debt from reaching its current level, because it would have given the government the ability to repay its debt without going to the Federal Reserve and being charged interest in order to create the new money. Executive Order 11110 gave the U.S. the ability to create its own money backed by silver.

After Mr. Kennedy was assassinated just five months later, no more silver certificates were issued. The Final Call has learned that the Executive Order was never repealed by any U.S. President through an Executive Order and is still valid. Why then has no president utilized it? Virtually all of the current $10 trillion in debt has been created since 1963, and if a U.S. president had utilized Executive Order 11110 the debt would be nowhere near the current level.

Perhaps the assassination of JFK was a warning to future presidents who would think to eliminate the U.S. debt by eliminating the Federal Reserve’s control over the creation of money.

Mr. Kennedy challenged the government of money by challenging the two most successful vehicles that have ever been used to drive up debt – war and the creation of money by a privately-owned central bank. His efforts to have all troops out of Vietnam by 1965 and Executive Order 11110 would have severely cut into the profits and control of the New York banking establishment.

As America’s debt reaches unprecedented numbers and we wage an international war on terror which is further increasing America’s debt, one is forced to ask, will President Obama have the courage to consider utilizing Executive Order 11110 and, if so, is he willing to pay the ultimate price so that the average American can pay for food and shelter?

Original JFK-era United States Treasury Note. Notice they almost look like todays bills, except one says “Federal Reserve Note” on the top while the other says “United States Note”. Also, the Federal Reserve Note has a green seal and serial number while the United States Note has a red seal and serial number.

Original JFK-era United States Treasury Note. Notice they almost look like today's bills, except one says “Federal Reserve Note” on the top while the other says “United States Note”. Also, the Federal Reserve Note has a green seal and serial number while the United States Note has a red seal and serial number.

Here is the text of Kennedy’s original Executive Order:

Executive Order 11110 AMENDMENT OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10289

AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE PERFORMANCE OF CERTAIN FUNCTIONS AFFECTING THE DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

By virtue of the authority vested in me by section 301 of title 3 of the United States Code, it is ordered as follows:

Section 1. Executive Order No. 10289 of September 19, 1951, as amended, is hereby further amended-

By adding at the end of paragraph 1 thereof the following subparagraph (j):

(j) The authority vested in the President by paragraph (b) of section 43 of the Act of May 12,1933, as amended (31 U.S.C.821(b)), to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury not then held for redemption of any outstanding silver certificates, to prescribe the denomination of such silver certificates, and to coin standard silver dollars and subsidiary silver currency for their redemption

and —

By revoking subparagraphs (b) and (c) of paragraph 2 thereof.

Sec. 2. The amendments made by this Order shall not affect any act done, or any right accruing or accrued or any suit or proceeding had or commenced in any civil or criminal cause prior to the date of this Order but all such liabilities shall continue and may be enforced as if said amendments had not been made.

John F. Kennedy The White House, June 4, 1963.

Of course, the fact that both JFK and Lincoln tried this (and both met the the same end) is a mere coincidence.

Abraham Lincoln’s Monetary Policy, 1865 (Page 91 of Senate document 23.)

Money is the creature of law and the creation of the original issue of money should be maintained as the exclusive monopoly of national Government.

Money possesses no value to the State other than that given to it by circulation.

Capital has its proper place and is entitled to every protection. The wages of men should be recognised in the structure of and in the social order as more important than the wages of money.

No duty is more imperative for the Government than the duty it owes the People to furnish them with a sound and uniform currency, and of regulating the circulation of the medium of exchange so that labour will be protected from a vicious currency, and commerce will be facilitated by cheap and safe exchanges.

The available supply of Gold and Silver being wholly inadequate to permit the issuance of coins of intrinsic value or paper currency convertible into coin in the volume required to serve the needs of the People, some other basis for the issue of currency must be developed, and some means other than that of convertibility into coin must be developed to prevent undue fluctuation in the value of paper currency or any other substitute for money of intrinsic value that may come into use.

The monetary needs of increasing numbers of People advancing towards higher standards of living can and should be met by the Government. Such needs can be served by the issue of National Currency and Credit through the operation of a National Banking system .The circulation of a medium of exchange issued and backed by the Government can be properly regulated and redundancy of issue avoided by withdrawing from circulation such amounts as may be necessary by Taxation, Redeposit, and otherwise. Government has the power to regulate the currency and credit of the Nation.

Government should stand behind its currency and credit and the Bank deposits of the Nation. No individual should suffer a loss of money through depreciation or inflated currency or Bank bankruptcy.

Government possessing the power to create and issue currency and creditas money and enjoying the right to withdraw both currency and credit from circulation by Taxation and otherwise need not and should not borrow capital at interest as a means of financing Governmental work and public enterprise. The Government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credit needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of the consumers. The privilege of creating and issueing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, but it is the Governments greatest creative opportunity.

By the adoption of these principles the long felt want for a uniform medium will be satisfied. The taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest, discounts, and exchanges. The financing of all public enterprise, the maintenance of stable Government and ordered progress, and the conduct of the Treasury will become matters of practical administration. The people can and will be furnished with a currency as safe as their own Government. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity. Democracy will rise superior to the money power.

WHAT IS THE FEDERAL RESERVE AND WHY DO WE NEED IT, ANYWAY? 

What most Americans don’t understand is that the Federal Reserve is not Federal (look for it in the blue government pages of your local phonebook. It’s not there because it is a private corporation), nor does it have a reserve

One of the most common concerns among people who engage in any effort to reduce their taxes is, “Will keeping my money hurt the government’s ability to pay it’s bills?” As explained in the first article in this series, the modern withholding tax does not, and wasn’t designed to, pay for government services. What it does do, is pay for the privately-owned Federal Reserve System.

Black’s Law Dictionary defines the “Federal Reserve System” as, “Network of twelve central banks to which most national banks belong and to which state chartered banks may belong. Membership rules require investment of stock and minimum reserves.”

Privately-owned banks own the stock of the Fed. This was explained in more detail in the case of Lewis v. United States, Federal Reporter, 2nd Series, Vol. 680, Pages 1239, 1241 (1982), where the court said:

Each Federal Reserve Bank is a separate corporation owned by commercial banks in its region. The stock-holding commercial banks elect two thirds of each Bank’s nine member board of directors.

Similarly, the Federal Reserve Banks, though heavily regulated, are locally controlled by their member banks. Taking another look at Black’s Law Dictionary, we find that these privately owned banks actually issue money:

Federal Reserve Act. Law which created Federal Reserve banks which act as agents in maintaining money reserves, issuing money in the form of bank notes, lending money to banks, and supervising banks. Administered by Federal Reserve Board (q.v.).

The FED banks, which are privately owned, actually issue, that is, create, the money we use. In 1964 the House Committee on Banking and Currency, Subcommittee on Domestic Finance, at the second session of the 88th Congress, put out a study entitled Money Facts which contains a good description of what the FED is:

The Federal Reserve is a total money-making machine.It can issue money or checks. And it never has a problem of making its checks good because it can obtain the $5 and $10 bills necessary to cover its check simply by asking the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving to print them.

As we all know, anyone who has a lot of money has a lot of power. Now imagine a group of people who have the power to create money. Imagine the power these people would have. This is what the Fed is.

No man did more to expose the power of the Fed than Louis T. McFadden, who was the Chairman of the House Banking Committee back in the 1930s. Constantly pointing out that monetary issues shouldn’t be partisan, he criticized both the Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt administrations. In describing the Fed, he remarked in the Congressional Record, House pages 1295 and 1296 on June 10, 1932, that:

“Mr. Chairman,we have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal reserve banks. The Federal Reserve Board, a Government Board, has cheated the Government of the United States and he people of the United States out of enough money to pay the national debt. The depredations and the iniquities of the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal reserve banks acting together have cost this country enough money to pay the national debt several times over. This evil institution has impoverished and ruined the people of the UnitedStates; has bankrupted itself, and has practically bankrupted our Government. It has done this through the maladministration of that law by which the Federal Reserve Board, and through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it.”

Some people think the Federal reserve banks are United States Government institutions. They are not Government institutions. They are private credit monopolies which prey upon the people of the United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lenders. In that dark crew of financial pirates there are those who would cut a man’s throat to get a dollar out of his pocket; there are those who send money into States to buy votes to control our legislation; and there are those who maintain an international propaganda for the purpose of deceiving us and of wheedling us into the granting of new concessions which will permit them to cover up their past misdeeds and set again in motion their gigantic train of crime. Those 12 private credit monopolies were deceitfully and disloyally foisted upon this country by bankers who camehere from Europe and who repaid us for our hospitality by undermining our American institutions.

The Fed basically works like this: The government granted its power to create money to the Fed banks. They create money, then loan it back to the government charging interest. The government levies income taxes to pay the interest on the debt.

On this point, it’s interesting to note that the Federal Reserve act and the sixteenth amendment, which gave congress the power to collect income taxes, were both passed in 1913. The incredible power of the Fed over the economy is universally admitted. Some people, especially in the banking and academic communities, even support it. On the other hand, there are those, both in the past and in the present, that speak out against it. One of these men was President John F. Kennedy. His efforts were detailed in Jim Marrs’ 1990 book, Crossfire:

Another overlooked aspect of Kennedy’s attempt to reform American society involves money. Kennedy apparently reasoned that by returning to the constitution, which states that only Congress shall coin and regulate money, the soaring national debt could be reduced by not paying interest to the bankers of the Federal Reserve System, who print paper money then loan it to the government at interest. He moved in this area on June 4, 1963, by signing Executive Order 11,110 which called for the issuance of $4,292,893,815 in United States Notes through the U.S. Treasury rather than the traditional Federal Reserve System. That same day, Kennedy signed a bill changing the backing of one and two dollar bills from silver to gold, adding strength to the weakened U.S. currency.

Kennedy’s comptroller of the currency, James J. Saxon, had been at odds with the powerful Federal Reserve Board for some time, encouraging broader investment and lending powers for banks that were not part of the Federal Reserve system. Saxon also had decided that non-Reserve banks could underwrite state and local general obligation bonds, again weakening the dominant Federal Reserve banks.

A number of “Kennedy bills” were indeed issued – the author has a five dollar bill in his possession with the heading “United States Note” – but were quickly withdrawn after Kennedy’s death. According to information from the Library of the Comptroller of the Currency, Executive Order 11,110 remains in effect today, although successive administrations beginning with that of President Lyndon Johnson apparently have simply ignored it and instead returned to the practice of paying interest on Federal Reserve notes. Today we continue to use Federal Reserve Notes, and the deficit is at an all-time high.

Story originally published at:

 http://www.john-f-kennedy.net/executiveorder11110.htm

From: The Final Call, Vol. 15, No.6, On January 17, 1996

Editor’s Opinion:

With regard to our present economic crisis alone, Treachery and Treason take on a much more dire meaning and the consequences for our not paying close attention to our being warned, in terms of heeding our patriotic  leader’s from the past such as JFK, that enemies from within are seeking to undermine our very way of life and are active in undermining our civl liberties as well as our monetary system. Not to mention our once democratic operation’s of government.

It is with this in mind that beseech the politically active reading this blog, to carry the torch of reason and better judgement to those who may have contact with political representitives who may be in position to accomplish real change in our nation’s direction both politically and morally.

Information similar to the article posted above is shocking and leaves me wondering about why accountability and even objective / investigative reporting isn’t done anymore. In what is the most progressive and technically savvy time of mankind’s history… we are as in the dark as ever. We are as under-represented and hog-tied as ever in our history and we are effectively at the mercy of an oligarchy, which has blatently lied and outwardly refuses to cooperate with our rules of law.

Isn’t this the kind of thing Ron Paul lways warned us about? (Funny, not long ago, people thought he was a nut. Now, they turn to him for advice like the economic sage he is, because all Rep. Paul has been saying all these years has finally come to pass.) Have we reduced ourselves to being so terrified… that we don’t bare to look at our dirty laundry or talk to bother anymore to confront what is looking like really bad leadership and dare I say treason or treachery? When was the last time you heard anyone convicted of treason or treachery?

No, now it’s gonna be prosecutions of U.S. Citizens who are acting out (badly) in un-patriotic manners who will be thrown in jail for speaking their minds… Tick Tick Tick… Constitution’s burning folks…

Mr. Obama, will your administration deny these realities? Will you pick up the torch you were ceremoniously handed by JFK and RFK’s living legacies? You asked for these legacies to carry you to the office you now hold… will you now deny the weight and obligation, as well as the ominous responsibility to follow through with the Kennedy spirit you have channelled or the legacy of which that spirit holds to ultimatley finish the job that was started in the early 196o’s? You have the energy and support of Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, JFK and RFK.

President Obama, please dismantle the Federal Reserve. The only way to stop this economic bleeding is to go right to the source. Take the creation of money away from the private, run-for-profit central bank and restore our Constitutionally-mandated financial system. Bring back the Greenbacks!

And while you’re working on that massive to-do list, Mr. President, please prosecute Bush, Cheney and Rove for international war crimes, High Crimes & Misdemeanors!

Jack Mosel

Contributing editor

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45 Years Later, JFK’s Words Still Resonate

A SOMBER ANNIVERSARY

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"We must use time as a tool, not a crutch." -- JFK

Today marks 45 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

It is a time when all Americans (even those who were not yet born in 1963) stop to reflect on what our country lost that day for we lost so much more than more than just a man — and we ponder what role that tragic event played in shaping the world we now find ourselves living in.

While it is important that we pause to remember the past, and to ask these questions about America’s future (he would want us to), let’s not allow ourselves to forget the man Jack Kennedy was. Because it seems that far too often, we focus our attention on his death and the many questions that still remain unanswered. Shouldn’t we instead remember his life?

Sitting atop the perch where Abraham Zapruder shot his film of the assassination, a young boy tries to make sense of it all. Dealey Plaza, Dallas, TX. June 1, 2008

Sitting atop the perch where Abraham Zapruder shot his film of the assassination, a young boy tries to make sense of it all. Dealey Plaza, Dallas, TX. June 1, 2008

Since this somber anniversary happens to fall around Thanksgiving, it just doesn’t seem appropriate somehow to be mournful. Rather, let us give thanks for all of the good things he brought to this world as a catalyst for change. Let us recall the way he inspired people around the globe; the hope and optimism he brought to the presidency. Let’s celebrate his vision, his strength, his courage, his razor-sharp mind, his gracecharm, and of course, that delightful, sometimes wicked wit.

This would be a perfect time to reach for one of your favorite books on the shelf and immerse yourself in some of his words. Listen to some of his best speeches. Because these things are the legacy he left us. His words will live in history forever and cannot be erased.

A single red rose, left by an unknown admirer on the Grassy Knoll in front of the former Texas School Book Depository (now the 6th Floor Museum).

A single red rose, left by an unknown admirer on the Grassy Knoll in front of the former Texas School Book Depository (now the 6th Floor Museum).

Naturally, we all have our own favorite books and speeches of JFK’s; I’ve certainly got a long list of works I find deeply moving and inspiring, but I’ll refrain from making any recommendations here because I feel that how each of us remembers him today should be a strictly personal choice.

But there is one little tidbit I want to share:

On November 19, 1963, just three days before his death, President Kennedy wrote this message for the rededication ceremonies of the national cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania:

“The goals of liberty and freedom, the obligations of keeping ours a government of and for the people are never-ending.”

Just one sentence, but this says it all. Written exactly 45 years ago, these words serve to remind us all that there is still so much work to do. Lest we forget.

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

 President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

May 29, 1917- November 22, 1963 

Notes and flowers left for President Kennedy on the Grassy Knoll Fence. Dallas, June 2008

Notes and flowers left for President Kennedy on the Grassy Knoll Fence. Dallas, June 2008

 PHOTO GALLERY

President and Mrs. Kennedy (holding red roses) at Love Field, Dallas. Nov. 22, 1963

President and Mrs. Kennedy (holding red roses) at Love Field, Dallas. Nov. 22, 1963

 * FOR FURTHER READING, WE RECOMMEND:

“Midnight in the Plaza of Good and Evil”

“Happy Birthday, Mr. President” 

“A Word From JFK on Independence Day”

“Former JFK Secret Service Agent Speaks Out in New Book: The Echo From Dealey Plaza”

“Op-Ed: Whoops, They Did It Again”

“Op-Ed: Who Will Carry The Torch Now?”

“JFK on Presidential Leadership”

The “Fearless” Kennedy

Op-Ed: We Have Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself

Dallas D.A. Releases Secret Stash of JFK Assassination Files

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Filed under JFK, John F. Kennedy, president kennedy, texas, the kennedys, Uncategorized

JFK On Presidential Leadership

John F. Kennedy on the campaign trail, 1960

“Vote for Kennedy!”: Flashback to 1960, the last time a sitting (or in this case, standing) U.S. Senator won the presidency in a general election.

A FEW WORDS FROM JFK ON PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP

This election year, we all must have a heart-to-heart with ourselves and ask, “what qualities do I want in a president? What truly constitutes leadership?”

We’d like to draw your attention to a speech President John F. Kennedy gave in 1962 which is rarely noted or quoted. Sadly, this address seems to have been somewhat lost to history, but reading his words again should strike a deep resonant chord in all of us today.

This speech hits home now when we look at our plunging economy, the national debt, the death of American industry, the downfall of labor unions, our failing education system, corporate profit-taking, the war, escalating tensions around the globe, the pillage of our natural environment, the election, and perhaps most importantly – the powers properly granted to the president under the Constitution of the United States to fix these problems. What is within his or her power, and what is not?

After eight years of George W. Bush, it’s a hot question in 2008.

WHEN IS AGGRESSIVE USE OF PRESIDENTIAL POWER A GOOD THING?

Let’s look at just one historical example.

President Kennedy made these remarks during a speech to the United Auto Workers Union in Atlantic City in May, 1962. Addressing the issue of how much influence the President should have over the nation’s economy (or perhaps put more bluntly, whether he should bow and do the bidding of his corporate puppetmasters), Kennedy vigorously defended his recent actions which had forced the steel industry to eliminate a price increase.

“I speak,” he said, “as President of the United States with a single voice to both management and labor . . . I believe it is the business of the President of the United States to concern himself with the general welfare and the public interest . . . I believe that what is good for the United States—for the people as a whole—is going to be good for every American company and for every American union.”

Unjustified wage and price demands, said the President, are equally “contrary to the national interest.” His Administration “has not undertaken and will not undertake” to fix prices or wages or to intervene in every little old labor dispute. Instead, it depends on labor and management to reach settlements within “guidelines” suggested by the Administration.

This aggressive policy had been the subject of “a good deal of discussion, acrimony, and controversy on wages and prices and profits,” Kennedy acknowleged, but he added this justification: 

“Now I know there are some people who say that this isn’t the business of the President of the United States, who believe that the President of the United States should be an honorary chairman of a great fraternal organization and confine himself to ceremonial functions. But that is not what the Constitution says. And I did not run for President of the United States to fulfill that Office in that way.”

OK, stop. Go back and read that paragraph again, because it’s terribly important. What did he just say?

He just stated that he did not run for the Presidency for the honor of being corporate America’s puppet. Or the Military’s puppet. Or anybody’s puppet,for that matter. He said that he was well aware of the immense powers granted to the president under the U.S. Constitution, and that he fully intended to make use of those powers when necessary.

Those are dangerous words when spoken by a president.

For those who still seek an answer to the neverending question – “why was President Kennedy killed?” – it could be argued that he had to be “replaced” becasue he interpreted the Constitution literally. JFK thought that “goddamn piece of paper” (as future presidents would refer to this now-arcane historical document) actually meant what it said.

Kennedy continued:

“Harry Truman once said there are 14 or 15 million Americans who have the resources to have representatives in Washington to protect their interests, and that the interests of the great mass of other people, the hundred and fifty or sixty million, is the responsibility of the President of the United States. And I propose to fulfill it!

And there are those who say, “Stay out of this area–it would be all right if we are in a national emergency or in a war.”

What do they think we are in? And what period of history do they believe this country has reached? What do they believe is occurring all over the world?

Merely because vast armies do not march against each other, does anyone think that our danger is less immediate, or the struggle is less ferocious?

As long as the United States is the great and chief guardian of freedom, all the way in a great half circle from the Brandenburg Gate to Viet-Nam, as long as we fulfill our functions at a time of climax in the struggle for freedom, then I believe it is the business of the President of the United States to concern himself with the general welfare and the public interest. And if the people feel that it is not, then they should secure the services of a new President of the United States.”

 — JFK to the United Auto Workers Union, May 8, 1962

THE PRESIDENT IS NOT AN “HONORARY CHAIRMAN OF A GREAT FRATERNAL ORGANIZATION”

My point exactly. After eight long years of a president who could care less about the general welfare and the public interest, it is now up to the people to secure the services of a new President of the United States. And we’re going to do it this November.

But who among the current crop of candidates posesses the kind of leadership qualities JFK not only talked about, but exhibited during each of the thousand days?

To my mind at least, true presidential leadership requires the kind of courage and compassion exhibited by JFK in the example below. Please take a few moments to watch excerpts from his UAW speech and other remarks on the economy in this video montage entitled “Mankind Is Our Business.”

CLASH OF THE TITANS

At the time, Kennedy was roasted for his aggressive use of presidential power in the showdown with Big Steel  – by the business community, by academia, the press, members of Congress, and even his predecessor Dwight Eisenhower.

In the May 18, 1962 issue of Time magazine, Ike strongly criticized the President for “the strenuous efforts of the Administration to increase greatly the power of the executive branch of the Government. It has long been my judgment that the real threat to liberty in this Republic will be primarily found in a steady erosion of self-reliant citizenship and in excessive power concentration.”

To back up his charge that Kennedy is asking for too many powers, Ike cited Kennedy’s requests for authority to modify income taxes when he decides it is necessary, to finance emergency public works by diversion of funds, to “regiment all agriculture,” to “take over a whole host of state and local responsibilities, notably including the proposal for a Department of Urban Affairs,” and “to dilute the independence of the Federal Reserve Board by presidential appointment of its chairman.” Added Ike: “The objectives under lying many such proposals are not in themselves controversial. I do not agree, however, that in every instance more presidential power is needed to achieve them.”

Ironically, while it was President Eisenhower who had cautioned against undue influence by the Military-Industrial-Complex two years before, the truth of the matter is that during his presidency Eisenhower sought out the Titans, respected their advice, and treated them as they thought they deserved to be treated — in other words, as representatives of the most influential body in the nation.

By contrast, Kennedy kept his distance. Prior to his election he had had little contact with industrial circles, and once he was in the White House he saw even less of them. Businessmen were generally excluded from the Kennedys’ private parties. Not only did he “snub” them (in the words of Ralph Cordiner, President of General Electric), he also attacked them. Kennedy did not consult the business world before making his appointments. The men he placed at the head of the federal regulatory agencies were entirely new. Since the end of the war, the businessmen had become accustomed to considering these bodies as adjuncts of their own professional associations. They were more indignant than surprised. They attempted to intervene, but in vain.

If the Titans thought that John F. Kennedy was going to be their puppet, they had another thing coming.

“Honorary chairman of a great fraternal organization” who should “confine himself to ceremonial functions?” Not this president. 

Kennedy had just let let them know: This president had a mind of his own – and if you don’t like it, perhaps you boys should go get yourselves another president

HAIL TO THE CHIEF

Even nearly 45 years after his passing, I still look to President Kennedy’s words and deeds for strength and inspiration – I think many of us do – and every election year since then, we have searched for a political candidate who embodies that same spirit. Someone who understands and achieves that perfect balance between exercising presidential power and the public interest, while avoiding the temptation to become drunk on their own power and take the country into a dictatorship.

It’s always a difficult balancing act for any president, but the example of JFK’s administration showed us all that a president can use his power forcefully and effectively when the need arises – but that such use is only acceptable and reasonable if this flexing of executive muscle is done to benefit the national interest. (And, more often than not, to force corporations or industries into doing the right thing – what they should have done in the first place – for their fellow citizens.)

“The American people will find it hard, as I do, to accept a situation in which a tiny handful of steel executives whose pursuit of private power and profit exceeds their sense of public responsibility can show such utter contempt for the interests of 185 million Americans.”

— President John F. Kennedy, April 11, 1962

In my own personal dictionary, you look up “presidential leadership,” and there’s Jack Kennedy’s picture.

President John F. Kennedy, fall 1962

When the people said, “we want action, not talk“, Kennedy delivered.

THE PRESIDENT HAS THE POWER 

So the next time you suffer sticker shock at the gas pump, and you wonder aloud, “who can fix this?” – remember that the president has the power. All a president needs is a plan and most importantly, the courage to stand up to The Men Who Rule The World because he knows the Constitution and the people will back him up.

Next time you feel obliged to curse the oil companies for sticking it to millions of people while they enjoy record profits, remember who our president is now.

Next time you bitch about the modern day industrial robber barons of Wall Street who are stealing us blind and wonder why Congress does nothing to stop it, remember President Kennedy.

Remember that he went to bat for all Americans and fought the Titans just to shave what amounted to a rather paltry price increase in steel down to a reasonable amount. Remember that he won that battle, too.

Remember that if our current president, or any future president, should have the political will and the courage, they can also fight the Titans and curb these out-of-control oil industry profits, bring an energy revolution to the table, get us off of foreign oil and out of debt to dictators quicker than you can say, “all in a day’s work!”

Remember that when you choose a presidential candidate this year.

`Nuff said!

 

Copyright RFKin2008.com.

 

For further reading on JFK’s showdown with U.S. Steel, we highly recommend:

“John F. Kennedy and the Titans” by Laura Knight-Jadczyk at http://laura-knight-jadczyk.blogspot.com/2006/11/john-f-kennedy-and-titans.html

“A Diversity of Dilemmas”, Time Magazine, May 18, 1962 article at: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,896150,00.html

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