Remembering JFK Shows How Far We Have Traveled In The Wrong Direction

The Kennedy tragedy which I wrote about yesterday brought back memories of the inauguration of John F. Kennedy. I remember how proud my father was that he was elected president. After all, like him he was an Irish Catholic from Boston. It was one of his proudest days. I felt the same way. I’d guess others in my family might have felt the same way.

Kennedy’s inauguration was the only one I have ever attended. I was a Marine second lieutenant at the time stationed at Quantico, Virginia. It wouldn’t have been too hard to slip up the Shirley Highway into Washington, D.C. other than there had been a snow storm which complicated things a bit.  But we all got there, I believe I wore my dress uniform, and proudly looked out into the future ready to make the sacrifices I might be called upon to do for our country. It was an uplifting time in America.

It was a great day for the Irish. JFK’s words in his inauguration address now seem to come from another time and another country. It defies belief today seeing how the present occupant of the office cosies up to dictators such as Putin and Mohammed Bin Salman and their ilk that some other person elected to that office would say: “Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.”

JFK spoke about human rights – the commitment to others – he’d establish the Peace Corps to follow through on that. He concluded his speech stating: “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.” (my emphasis)

How unlike the guy in the office today who had this to say to the citizens of the world during his inauguration speech: “We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, in every hall of power – from this day on a new vision will govern our land – from this day onwards it is only going to be America first – America first!” He ended his speech with these inspiring words: “Together we will make America strong again, we will make America wealthy again, we will make America safe again and yes – together we will make America great again.” (my emphasis)

Ironically the present incumbent who has gotten us mired in this pandemic said: “We stand at the birth of a new millennium, . . .  to free the earth from the miseries of disease, . . . ”  To do that he eliminated the NSC team, called the Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, which oversaw the country’s preparations for pandemics. It was noted: “The unit had three main duties: to provide constant surveillance for a quick pandemic response; unify government agencies under one command; and to ensure that the White House conveyed scientifically sound information to the public.”

When asked about it he said:  “I’m a business person — I don’t like having thousands of people around when you don’t need them. When we need them, we can get them back very quickly.” Unfortunately when we needed them they were nowhere to be found. There’s still no unified command. Is Kushner, Pence, Trump, or trade adviser Peter Navarro in charge?

Trump’s type thinking would apply to firemen, ambulance drivers or the armed services to mention a few who stand around preparing and waiting until they are needed. It was it that type of thinking that made us so unprepared for this virus?

But looking back you have to ask did JFK really say those things? Was there once a time when America looked outward to the world to bring  it freedom?




21 thoughts on “Remembering JFK Shows How Far We Have Traveled In The Wrong Direction

  1. wa-llahi! All’s not lost, capitalist roaders. If, it was, hedge-fund traitors would be swan diving out of upper story Wall St. windows. Banksters would be slugging poison, and, putting guns to their heads. It’s coming,but, it ain’t here, yet.

    All praise to the activists. All power to the dialectic.

  2. To keep the coronavirus impact in perspective, it is worth noting that just 4 countries in Western Europe with only 3/4ths of the US population have about the same number of cases, and 3 times the number of deaths compared to the good old USA.

    Nice job, President Trump and team !!!

    1. What percentage of the people in those European countries had pre-existing health conditions that would have made them more vulnerable? What are the medical facilities and care givers available to them? What is their economic status within their communities and how does that status affect their access to medical care?

      Ya see, like good beef, it’s not always cut and dried. If it’s CNN or Fox, numbers can mean everything or nothing.

      I heard a report yesterday that claimed that China may have over 100,000 deaths that they did not report. Numbers.

  3. Abe, it’s true: it wouldn’t be much fun sitting beside me on a bar stool in a barroom. I haven’t had a drink or a drug in over forty years, thank God.

  4. There was no widespread hunger in the Ukraine in the 30s according to the NY Times. That claim was a total lie. 7 million people starved. Yet some people still rely on fabricated media reports. One has to double check their facts. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. For three years the media peddled the bogus Russian Collusion story. The story was completely debunked. Yet some naive types still look to the same false outlets for their facts. You would have a better chance of discovering the truth in Mad Magazine than at the Globe, CNN or MSNBC. 2. During the 80s certain Leftists, Tsongas, Dukakis, Kerry, O’Neil and Kennedy reflexively blamed Reagan for tensions between the U S and Soviets, It was all Reagan’s fault. They were blinded by their partisanship and couldn’t grasp the brilliance of the Gipper’s strategy. If we had followed those Democrats we would have lost the Cold War. As Sen. Bulger said Dukakis was better than Bush because he was fluent in Spanish so he could have surrendered to the Communists in two languages. So today we have partisans blaming Trump for the Covid 19 problem. No mention of China from whence it came. A British study said 95% of the infections could have been prevented if China had been forthcoming. Many tens of thousands of lives were lost because of Red China’s perfidy. Yet no criticism. Unfortunately the blame America first crowd as Jeanne Kirkpatrick called them is still around.

  5. I, too, was proud of JFK, and proud of Reagan, and supported both, and have supported every conservative politician since. Even as a conservative independent, I’ve always admired the Kennedy Family. I still do.

    However, praising JFK for reaching out to the World, you forget he put 16,000 military advisers in Vietnam and he and his pick for V.P., LBJ, plunged us deep into that debacle. When JFK’s administration assassinated Diem, that plunged us deeper; when his CIA tried to assassinate Castro after the disastrous Bay of Pigs that irrevocably severed ties with Cuba.

    President Trump has kept us out of wars and is trying to bring home more troops. He’s trying to cut down on the size of the bloated federal government. He’s brought us the best economy, perhaps, in our history: 150 million jobs, highest stock market, lowest unemployment for minority and women. And it is good that President Trump is reaching out to Putin and others to lower tensions; he’s working with Putin and Saudi Arabia, today, to stabilize oil prices.

    Trump is doing a great job in handling the Pandemic. I’m inspired by the teams he’s assembled, led by Mike Pence. I’m inspired by his early and decisive actions. Dr. Ronny Jackson, White House physician from 2013 to 2018, praised Trump for his decisive response to the coronavirus epidemic. “The president has done everything he needed to do in this case,” he said. “He’s acted quickly and decisively. He did what he always has done … he went with his instincts.”

    And Trump DID NOT dissolve the White House pandemic response office. See the Washington Post article by the former head of that office under Trump, Tim Morrison. .
    I implore everyone to click on and read this article in full: (or if the click doesn’t work to find it Op Ed: Time Morrison, 3/16/2020. It is entitled: “No, the White House didn’t ‘dissolve’ its pandemic response office. I was there.”

    He explains how President Trump fixed the NSC, streamlined it, and made the bio-defense unit “even stronger.

    Tim Morrison concludes: “You might ask: Why does all this matter? Won’t it just be a historical footnote? It matters because when people play politics in the middle of a crisis, we are all less safe. We are less safe because public servants are distracted when they are dragged into politics. We’re less safe because the American people have been recklessly scared into doubting the competence of their government to help keep them safe, secure and healthy. And we’re less safe because when we’re focused on political gamesmanship, we’re not paying enough attention to the real issues.
    There are real threats emanating from this pandemic. We need to focus on getting our response right and save the finger-pointing for what comes after. This is the United States — we will get through this. And for the love of God, wash your hands.”

    And from PJMedia, the “Top Ten Lies About President Trump’s Response to the Coronovirus”, by Matt Margolis: Lie #8 “Trump Dissolved the Pandemic Response Office.”

    “Two days after Trump declared the coronavirus a national emergency, the Washington Post ran an opinion piece by Elizabeth Cameron, (on 3-13-20) who ran the White House pandemic office under Obama, alleging that Trump had dissolved the office in 2018. She claimed because of this, “the federal government’s slow response to the coronavirus isn’t a surprise.” The falsehood was widely reported and even stated as a fact by an NBC reporter in a question to the President.
    “This claim spread like wildfire, even though it was completely false. Days after WaPo ran the piece, they published another article by Tim Morrison, former senior director for counterproliferation and biodefense on the National Security Council, who debunked the allegation made by Cameron and other former Obama administration officials:
    “This is Washington. It’s an election year,” Morrison laments. “Officials out of power want back into power after November. But the middle of a worldwide health emergency is not the time to be making tendentious accusations.”

  6. ” It defies belief today seeing how the present occupant of the office cosies [sic] up to dictators such as Putin and Mohammed Bin Salman and their ilk ….”

    That’s funny. How about JFK getting his ass handed to him in his botched summit with Nikita Khrushchev in June ’61” “Yet despite Kennedy’s desire to be taken seriously, “he really didn’t listen closely to his own advisors,” Reeves says. “He had no real idea how tough it was going to be… He went in there unprepared and Khrushchev walked all over him.””

    How easily you ignore that JFK was corrupt from the get go – his father buying this election for him. He shouldn’t have even won. His family wealth was from illegal whisky importation – the Irish mafia, essentially. His philandering – disgraceful. And abandoning the Cuban counter-revolutionaries on the beaches at Playa Girón in the Bay of Pigs – unforgivable.

    Trump is far superior to Kennedy in many ways.

    1. “Trump is far superior to Kennedy in many ways.”

      He certainly paid for a lot more abortions than Kennedy did. And of course he didn’t get wounded while serving his country during a war. His daddy had someone write a note excusing him from Nam. My brother served in Vietnam and guess what he had. BONESPURS!!!! Trump opened a casino in Mafia controlled Atlantic City. Guess who writes the note for you when you play in that arena. I’ll give you a hint. It isn’t your daddy.

      Trump is my president. I have no problem with that. But claiming that he isn’t a slimy pig of a man I’ll leave to people like you. Strap on your kneepads. The boss is coming down the hall.

      1. Honest Abe, that you are compelled to resort to an ad hominem in your reply reveals how weak you know your response is.

        PT-109 – yea, he recklessly cut off a Japanese destroyer in his plywood patrol boat, which was summarily cut in half, killing two of his crew and badly injuring and burning two others. Hero – bullshit. Incompetent, entitled boob is more like it.

        1. Tell me more about myself, John. Tell me all about my knowledge of how weak my response was.

          You don’t read your own posts? Those knee pads must be about worn through. And I’m sure being the entitled, boob that he was dictated his actions during an encounter at sea with a Japanese war ship. You really like to make things up to suit your pathetic beliefs.

          Trump is a spineless pig. His level of incompetence is heroic.

          Bill; When I said his supporters, referring to Germans following Hitler…..

          Then you just wrote

          “….implying all Germans are morally inferior or all who lived in Germany were willing brown shirts and all Trump supporters are like the Brown Shirts.”

          How the fuck did you come up with that????? I was talking about Hitler’s most ardent followers and you turned it into something you fabricated in your mind. My comment in no way spoke of all Germans. YOU turned into something it wasn’t so you could make a blanket statement about my words.

          I like you, Bill, but I don’t think it would be much fun sitting on the barstool next to you. And I didn’t lose my brother. I posted that he was alive and well in Atlanta.

          1. Abe, you wrote, “the German people” and even so if you are saying President Trump’s ardent supporters are akin to Hitler’s ardent supporters, I wholeheartedly reject that analogy, too.

            I’m glad your brother is alive and well, and glad he too honorably served. I salute all who honorably served, and recall that many served honorably who subsequently got into trouble with drugs or alcohol or hot tempers. I have a friend who served four tours in Southeast Asia, he was a machine gunner on one of those Air Force helicopters, and he went on to become the head of the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club in California, and he served for 19 years, just short of 20, when he clashed with some superiors.

            I also salute all those who followed their consciences and refused to serve, objecting to Vietnam, and I’ve written about one young man who objected and spent three years in federal prison for doing so. Many who “fled” to Canada, did so because they “marched to a different drummer”, a higher power, their consciences.

            I try to understand, and I know there are those who hate Trump, and I know all of us have to blow off steam, and curse and swear from time to time, and I don’t dislike those who disagree with me, on any point, but I do think the MSM has a duty to report fairly, and in covering Trump have been maliciously unfair.

          2. Abe, it’s true: it wouldn’t be much fun sitting beside me on a bar stool in a barroom. I haven’t had a drink or a drug in over forty years, thank God.

        2. By the way, I do like you, John. I’ve just been grappling with a lot of ignorant people these last few months. Jumping on your comments was improper. My dislike is for things that I believe are wrong. Its that simple and my end of the conversation was a little rough.

          Be safe and have a great Holiday

      2. Abe, leave it to me. I disagree. I say President Trump is a great man and a great American, and is doing a great job as President and in fighting this pandemic.

        I remember one time your wrote Trump is not Hitler, but his supporters are like the German People, implying all Germans are morally inferior or all who lived in Germany were willing brown shirts and all Trump supporters are like the Brown Shirts.

        I ask you to remember that one out of three Americans who landed at Normandy (all special forces) were German Americans, and German Americans are the largest ethnic group in America.

        Of course, I express my sympathy for the loss of your brother in Vietnam. As I’ve written before, my mother lost her younger brother in World War II. War is hell, and we eternally remember those who fought the good fight, and served their country honorably.

        1. German Americans are not citizens of Germany and in no way reflect the attitude of the German people during WW II or in the years leading up to the war. And I’m not questioning your statistic about 1/3 of the troops being of German ancestry that landed in Normandy. I am amazed at it. That is a lot.

        2. Brown shirts. Yes, exactly. Same motivations. Different dictator. Hail Glorious Leader! Trump uber alles! WSJ criticized him for boring the public with his stream-of-consciousness style daily briefings. They suggested he limit his exposure to once a week. In answer to their gentle urging, he put on a three hour extravaganza of blather. You’d have to be a brain-washed brown-shirt to sit through the whole meandering harangue

    2. wa-llahi! Joe Kennedy short sold the market during the 1929 crash. That’s the source of the Kennedy fortune. They made money at booze, but, it never amounted to what Joe made speculating.

      1. Right Khalid. That was why FDR made Joe the first head of the SEC. The fox knew all the weaknesses of the henhouse.

        Kennedy and Trump. Comparing shortcomings instead of their better angels seems ridiculous. You site Trump’s stock market (propped-up by a subservient Fed. ) and low unemployment figures that produce wages of ever decreasing purchasing power and a disappearing middle class . Others site Kennedy’s Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Peace Corps and ADA.

        1. True: JFK did a lot of good, too. I know a guy named Groansy Sebastion, an electrician from Savin Hill, who after his service in the Army during Vietnam (he was stationed in Germany) went to California to work on Nuclear Power Plants, made some money, and now has a farm/ranch with 500 head of cattle.
          His wife served in the Peace Corps, in India, as I recall.
          These and other snippets of Americana are spelled out in my two volume Epic History: “Shots Heard Round the World: Americans Answer the Call to Arms.”, which sold about 100 copies.

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