4/10/2010

Bill Ayers and The Kennedy Assassination


I am a mystery fan. Although I do enjoy fictional mysteries and on occasion will find an author I like and read all of their works, what really intrigues me is actual real life mysteries. If it involves historical figures or situations I can get lost in it for months or years.

Some years ago I got hooked on the whole JFK assassination conspiracy gig and for several years I would read everything that came out about it. I was not exactly obsessed as some people get with such things, just fascinated by all the theories and possibilities. Many years later after having gone on to other interest and pretty much quit studying the matter, I happened upon a small book at a yard sale of all places that I had never seen or heard of on the assassination. For fifty cents I bought it and promptly put it on a book shelf and did not read it for at least another year. When I did read it, the investigation and conclusions of the author fascinated me. I'll briefly explain.

The story was based on the theory of the only marksman out of the eleven that were hired by the Warren Commission to duplicate Oswald's shots, to see if it could be done. He was the only one who actually pulled off the shot sequence in the time period necessary to prove it could have been done with that rifle. The difficulty of the shots, who would know better, and the fact that Oswald was not known to be an expert marksman always raised doubt with him about the official version of the assassination. So more or less as a hobby he began to investigate the assassination on his own.

After many years of study and investigation he reached a very startling conclusion which the book spelled out in the most fascinating details including photographs, ballistic testing ,interviews and much more. He had concluded that although Oswald may have fired shots as reported, the devastating shot had accidentally been discharged by a Secret Service agent riding in the trailing automobile.

The evidence provided and the detail with which it was presented was both startling and convincing. Where the author had differed from all the other investigations I had ever read on the matter was this, he had not looked for the conspiracy behind the assassination. He made no claim that there was one, he only looked to what was right in front of him and in a field in which he was an expert, ballistics. I do not know if it is the correct conclusion about what happened but the approach taken was both simple and straight forward, start with what you know.

The intriguing aspect of the whole Kennedy affair is that the more conspiracies and theories about the assassination that have blossomed in the years after the event, the more it obscures the reality of what really happened. In fact the more conspiracy theories there are the less likely the truth will ever be revealed. The truth is often lost in the search for it.

What does all this have to do with Bill Ayers...nothing. It is simple reminder that the more people try to find the truth behind something that does not appear to be on the up and up, the more likely it is that the truth will be obscured or the importance of an issue will be overlooked or ignored. The relationship of Barack Obama and Bill Ayers is a perfect example of this.

Remember back during the campaign how the right focused a great deal of attention
on Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers? Some of the pundits like Sean Hannity went on and on,and he still does, about Obama kicking off his political career in the house of the "unrepentant terrorist" Bill Ayers. Though people like Hannity, especially then, were basically singing to the choir and the rest of the so called media basically either ignored it or downplayed it, the story did not catch on with the general public, why?

The reason is simple, other than that right wing choir, the rest of the political demographic that needed to find something wrong in the relationship, didn't. Why? That too is simple, for people in the middle even the so called center right which make up much of the electorate, anyone who was at least a teenager in the time period where Bill Ayers operated with the Weather Underground probably knew or still knows someone that was a Anti-War protestor if they were not one themselves. People who lived through the times, understood the times within which they lived. Most probably did not agree with Ayers methods, but they did understand that it was part of the chaotic times they themselves had gone through. Much as the idea that Clinton smoked pot was not a big deal in his election, since most of the electorate had by then, the bigger deal being that he laughably proclaimed he did not inhale, so too was the idea that Obama knew or was even a friend of a "former" student radical. It was just not a big deal to the voters that counted. To most Americans the whole Bill Ayers-Obama connection was just another political hit job by right wingers and they did not take the time to study the issue.

Obama could easily say that they were trying to hang him on something that happened when he was seven years old and most of his detractors countered with the silly claim that Obama should have known the type of people he was hanging out with, blah, blah, blah.

But the Bill Ayers former terrorist/Barack Obama candidate should have just been the foundation to the story not the story that was being told. In trying to convince America that Obama was breaking some sort of purity test for a Presidential candidate the real "conspiracy" right in front of them was completely overlooked . The relationship between Barack Obama and Bill Ayers in modern times when they knew each other, not back in the seventies when they did not was the key that was never really turned.

I have mentioned before that back during the campaign I did some investigating on Obama and shared it with some family members. I did a bit on the Bill Ayers - Obama relationship which I'll share excerpts of below:
....The association of Barack Obama and Bill Ayers has less to do with what Bill Ayers was and what he did, than who he is now and what he promotes today. The more troubling aspect is that not only does Barack Obama know what Bill Ayers does, he was involved in what Bill Ayers promotes today.
A little history.
In 1995 Bill Ayers now a professor of education at University of Illinois, Chicago received a grant from the Annenberg Foundation. The grant was basically to come up with innovative ways to help students in inner city and urban schools in the Chicago area to improve their performance. William Ayers recruited Barack Obama to be the chair of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) There has been plenty of recent investigative work on what they actually did with the millions of dollars they received, much of which most people would find
somewhat strange, if not troubling:
The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland's ghetto.In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.
CAC translated Mr. Ayers's radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).
You can Google the CAC and read up on it and the reporting that has been done on it. I doubt many American’s would find the attempts they made to be either very intelligent use of good money or a very good way to improve education at all. The fact is that the final report by Consortium on Chicago School Research basically says that it was a failure.

" that among the schools it supported, the Challenge had little impact on school improvement and student outcomes, with no statistically significant differences between Annenberg and non-Annenberg schools in rates of achievement gain, classroom behavior, student self-efficacy, and social competence."

It was a dud.....
...Why did Bill Ayers choose Barack Obama, a community organizer, actually a civil rights attorney at Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland at the time to chair this organization? Barack Obama was a community organizer ( Developing Communities Project ) law lecturer (not professor), and civilrights lawyer, having no background in education at all.....

....who is Bill Ayers now?
We know that Bill Ayers was literally a bomb throwing radical that espoused Marxist ideals back in the good old days, but what are his views now? We know that he does not regret his radical past; he has often said so and stated he wished he had done more, that makes him an unrepentant former terrorist who has no qualms at being photographed standing on the American flag, so we can rightly assume that he disdains America and what it stands for. Just the type of guy we want, advancing curriculum in our public schools right? Am I over stating it?

From an interview he did in October 2006 in Revolution Magazine which describes itself as Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. Yes that is October 2006 not 1970 or 1995 and yes that is the magazine that speaks for American Communist Party. Please feel free to read the whole thing here are some highlights, oh this is about education in America.


That’s one of the things that’s actually annoyed me for about 40 years of being a progressive educator: the separation of the concept of progressive education from the concept of politics and political change. You can’t separate them…

the contradiction between trying to change the school and being embedded in society that has the exact opposite values culturally and politically and socially from the values you’re trying to build in a classroom. This contradiction is something progressive educators should address, not dodge…

Please read that second quote carefully. He fully recognizes that what he is trying to promote in our schools is contrary, indeed opposed , to the values of American society. In the real world most people would say that he is saying “hey let’s brainwash the kids to our beliefs regardless of what the general public wants
Here he defends Ward Churchill, if you don’t know who he is Google him.


He’s being pilloried for his politics, for being a leftist, for being a
critic of U.S. imperialism as it relates to Native Americans. How can we as socialists or as communists or as leftists, how can we leave him in the cold and say, well I’m a good leftist because I don’t talk the way Ward talks. I find that appalling. And I would hope that when they come to get Ward, we all link arms and don’t allow it.

And we as revolutionaries have to say that at the end of the day, people will be smart enough, good enough, strong enough to stand up. But why should they do it if we don’t have the courage to do it?


And Bill Ayers November 2006

... This is my fourth visit to Venezuela, each time at the invitation of my comrade and friend Luis Bonilla, a brilliant educator and inspiring fighter for justice. Luis has taught me a great deal about the Bolivarian Revolution and about the profound educational reforms underway here in Venezuela under the leadership of President Chavez. We share the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution, and I’ve come to appreciate Luis as a major asset in both the Venezuelan and the international struggle—I look forward to seeing how he and all of you continue to overcome the failings of capitalist education as you seek to create something truly new and deeply humane. …

..Venezuela is a beacon to the world in its accomplishment of eliminating illiteracy in record time, and engaging virtually the entire population in the ongoing project of education….

I guess it is possible that former radical Mr Ayers during the time he worked with future president Obama reformed into an all-American educator who did not espouse such socialist, revolutionary ideas, then relapsed into his revolutionary ways once separated from the calming presence of The One. However I would guess that the older more persuasive Ayers was likely more influential on the younger Obama than the other way around......

So the real story back during the campaign was not Obama knowing Bill Ayers the former terrorist, the story was that our future Presidents had a personal involvement with and supported a radical educator, whose views and philosophies most American parents would have found appalling if foisted on their children. And we are to believe that Obama was unaware of Ayers beliefs? Yet it was not only buried by most of the so called mainstream media, it was overlooked by most of the opposition in a Quixotic attempt to convince the American public to see the Ayers/Obama relationship as something to do with Ayers activities in the seventies rather than the very real ideological threat he represents now. In a sense the right was still fighting the Viet Nam War more worried about bombs than children.
But Obama was elected and still most people have little clue of the true relationship between Obama and Ayers, though they are beginning to sense the radical nature of the President. But what does all this have to do with the here and now?

Let's move forward a bit. Another Ayers/Obama conspiracy that popped up had to do with whether or not Ayers actually wrote Obama's book Dreams for My Father. The research on this was impressive and many people are convinced, myself included, that it is very likely that he did. But in the end, unlike the fact that Obama had offices on the same floor of the same building for years as Bill Ayers, there really is no way to prove Ayers wrote Obama's book, so it sort of faded away.

Then a conservative blogger ran into Ayers at Regan National Airport in Washington DC and inexplicably Ayers engaged in the following reported exchange

Then, unprompted he said--I wrote Dreams From My Father. I said, oh, so you admit it. He said--Michelle asked me to. I looked at him. He seemed eager. He's about my height, short. He went on to say--and if you can prove it, we can split the royalties. So I said, stop pulling my leg. Horrible thought. But he came
again--I really wrote it, the wording was similar. I said I believe you probably heavily edited it. He said--I wrote it. I said--why would I believe you, you're a liar.He had no answer to that. Just looked at me. Then he turned and walked off, and said again his bit about my proving it and splitting the proceeds.


So the whole issue erupted again in the blogosphere and everyone was all excited by the idea that Ayers might have actually admitted the truth. But despite the fact that the blogger pointed it out, few people really picked up on something significant in the story which is undeniable.


I was taking his picture. I asked him if he was speaking at GW? (Only I said
GFW, guess I had the VFW on my mind) He said oh you mean GW, he said no...was trying to decide if I was a fan, then said he was giving a lecture in Arlington
to a Renaissance group on education
--that's what I do, education--you shouldn't believe everything you hear about me, you know nothing about me. I said, I know plenty--I'm from Chicago, a conservative blogger, and I'll post this. (Oh, yeah, Bill Ayers, quite the Renaissance man, nail-bomber extraordinaire. Gee, I see another friend of Barack, U.S. Sec. of Education Arne Duncan was
there too. "The conference theme is “A Time for Reflection, Celebration
and Rebirth.” How touching. At best, useless, at worst, so wrong.
)

Do you think based on his Marxist views, his stated radical agenda towards education and his past that Bill Ayers is someone that most Americans would want having a significant influence on the education system of America? The fact is that he not only does, he has for a long time.

Bill Ayers is such a respected member of the Education elitist in America today that he was a joint speaker at an education conference with the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, another Chicago educator. What type conference would want to hear the Educational ideas of both Arne Duncaun (President Obama's Education Secretary) and Bill Ayers former terrorist, current radical educator ( recruiter of Barack Obama Community Organizer to run the Annenberg Challenge)?


The Renaissance Group (TRG) is a national consortium of colleges and universities with a major commitment to the preparation of educational professionals, and to the promotion of exemplary practices, partnerships and leadership that ensure high levels of teaching and learning for all of America’s schools...

This is a group of colleges that teaches the teachers how to teach your children and grandchildren. They are obviously influential enough to have the Secretary of Education speak to them and they invited Bill Ayers to speak to them

"We share the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution......
....to change the school and being embedded in society that has the exact opposite values culturally and politically and socially from the values you’re trying to build in a classroom. This contradiction is something progressive educators should address, not dodge….
..I look forward to seeing how he and all of you continue to overcome the failings of capitalist education as you seek to create something truly new and deeply humane

So what does Bill Ayers have to do with the Kennedy Assassination? The truth of our death may be right in front of us but we are too busy creating conspiracies to see it.



















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