KCAA Radio Presents Co-Hosts
Roseanne Barr and Kathleen Wells Sunday November 24, 2013
2:00pm Eastern 11:00am Pacific 9:00am Hawaii
Roseanne Barr and Dr. Binoy Kampmark
Roseanne will be Disucssing Current Issues in Hawaii
November 22-24, 2013 – On the Trail of the Assassins, Dallas
After driving some eight hours from New Orleans, WMR’s “On the Trail of the Assassins” series of reports finally brings us to Dallas. Some of the Mafia- and CIA-linked gunmen who participated fifty years ago in the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963 took this same route by car, although their trip likely took longer, considering the fact that the Interstate highway system was still in its infancy.
After purchasing their sniper rifles from a gun store in Slidell, Louisiana, the assassins, who had begun their trip in Miami, passed through Tampa where they received cash from mob boss Santo Trafficante, Jr., traveled through New Orleans under the protection and with the support of New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello, and on to Dallas.
According to a former CIA operative who now lives in Houston, on the night of November 21, 1963, the mob snipers, local mob bagman and night club owner Jack Ruby, CIA and FBI informant Lee Harvey Oswald, CIA embedded Dallas “policeman” J. D. Tippit, CIA agent E. Howard Hunt, and a few other conspirators representing the mob and a rogue element of the CIA met at Campisi’s Egyptian restaurant on Mockingbird Lane, 4.2 miles from Dealey Plaza.
Campisi’s was owned by Joe Campisi, who the present-day manager of the restaurant admitted was a close family and business friend of her uncle Joe Campisi. WMR and a few local Dallas JFK assassination specialists gathered on the evening of November 21 at Campisi’s, which has not changed much in fifty years. Joe Campisi’s niece explained how close her uncle was to Carlos Marcello and made a special point of pointing out the round table in the back of the restaurant where she said Jack Ruby dined fifty years ago to the very night. Now sitting under a large portrait of Joe Campisi, the table sits against the back wall of the restaurant, near the kitchen and rear exit. Anyone entering the restaurant through the padded red door would have been immediately seen by Ruby and Joe Campisi, allowing them to either monitor all the activity in the dining room or make a hasty exit out of the back door.
Campisi’s niece explained how Marcello, like all Sicilian crime families, were just trying to make it in the United States amid all the anti-Italian and anti-immigrant pressures of their era. She did not know, or was not willing to say, who joined Ruby at the special “round table” the night of November 21, 1963.
One thing is clear. The gunmen who drove from Tampa through New Orleans to Dallas spent some of their time at fine dining establishments. We previously described their visit to the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City in Tampa where they mere met by Trafficante, who was a silent partner in the restaurant’s operation. While in New Orleans, the assassins met with Marcello. Although it is not known where they ate, the Campisi restauranteurs originated in New Orleans before moving to Dallas and the Marcello and Campisi mob families had connections to some of the finer restaurants in the city. In Dallas, the assassins capped off their mission by eating at Campisi’s, which serves traditional (and very good) Italian fare.
While at Campisi’s, one local area politician described a conversation he once had with Winston Smith [the name is ironic], the son of Jack Ruby’s attorney, Hubert Winston Smith. The younger Smith described how Trafficante had hidden a large cache of gold, made from his various business ventures, including illegal gambling in the United States and legal casinos in Cuba, in a secret underground vault somewhere in Havana. The Tampa-based mob boss moved the gold from Florida to Cuba to keep it from falling into the hands of federal law enforcement who were trying to prosecute Trafficante for racketeering.
After the fall of the Fulgencio Batista regime in Cuba and the coming to power of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, Trafficante continued to keep the location of the gold cache in Havana secret. Wen the CIA began planning the Bay of Pigs invasion by the Cuban exile paramilitary Brigade 2506, Trafficante trained is own special team that would accompany Brigade 2506, not to assist in the overthrow of Castro, but to secure the cache of gold and remove it from Cuba. Trafficante placed in charge of the operation his son, who ended up being one of the 4000 killed or wounded among the ranks of the invaders. The Trafficante gold was never secured and, more astounding, according to the story related by Smith, remains hidden in Havana to this day!
After hearing of his son’s death, Trafficante vowed to kill President Kennedy in retribution. One of the CIA team leaders for Brigade 2506 was E. Howard Hunt, who would figure prominently in the assassination of Kennedy and the Watergate break-in.
Campisi’s Egyptian restaurant on Mockingbird Lane in Dallas. November 21, 1963 saw Jack Ruby, Lee Oswald, J.D. Tippit, and Mafia-hired snipers gather for a final meeting on the eve of the fateful day of the assassination of President Kennedy. Ironically, President Kennedy’s motorcade would pass by Campisi’s on its route from Love Field to Dealey Plaza.
Just as in New Orleans where ex-FBI agent and assassination plotter Guy Banister shared his office building with Fair Play for Cuba Committee FBI informant Lee Oswald, in the shadow of the U.S. Federal Building, the Federal Building annex, which housed the offices of federal law enforcement agencies, had a commanding view of Dealey Plaza and the assassination scene. This photo of the Federal Building across Elm Street is taken from the “Grassy Knoll.”
This spot in front of the Texas School Book Depository, where the editor is standing, is where CIA operative George H W Bush stood while the shots rang out in Dealey Plaza. Bush [right photo, farthest to the left] is looking directly at the location of President Kennedy’s limousine when he was hit by the gunfire.
Spot on Elm Street [around area of the two adjacent orange cones] where the fatal bullet struck President Kennedy in the front right side of his head. Several people gathered on the evening of November 21. The mayor of Dallas closed the area on November 22 to all but 5000 special ticket holders. Radio host Alex Jones led a protest march against the mayor’s decision as an abridgement of constitutional rights. On the evening of November 21, at around 5:30 pm (CST), the editor witnessed Dallas police arrest one man on Commerce Street across from Dealey Plaza. The man, who appeared to be in his twenties, was carrying an automatic rifle.
Bullet hole in windshield of Lincoln Continental limousine. The Warren Commission suspended all laws of universal physics to support the contention that all the bullets fired came from Oswald’s cheap male-order bolt-action rifle from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository.
Two reflections on Dealay Plaza. The assassination area — te School Book Depository, the Grassy Knoll, the Dal-Tex building where another sniper’s nest was reportedly located, the railroad overpass, and, to the editor’s surprise, the Dallas Federal Building, are all in close proximity to one another. The spot where Abraham Zapruder took the video of the President being hit was only 165 feet from the limousine. It has often been said that President Kennedy was caught in a “turkey shoot.” In the case of Dealey Plaza, the shooting took place in a virtual cage.
By Binoy Kampmark
“This is the story of the next half-century as we effectively become cyborgs” – Joshua Foer 
It says much that one of the great technological achievements of the last 20 years is a creation emphasizing the writing of 140 characters: the tailored, high-speed medium of communication that has effectively created a virtual community, with a set of virtual ethics and codes of misconduct. It has become the parasite of conversations – one doesn’t so much have conversations as fingering sessions on blackberries and iPhones. The real, a term that has ceased being popular, are left behind.
Twitter addicts are incapable of actually having a conversation beyond the cyber community they have constructed. Therein lies salvation, and perhaps destruction, for them. Then comes the other side, one of revolt against such tendencies. Either you stay off it or at the very least escape the Blackberry world. Go to Spain, Gwyneth Paltrow suggests, where she assumes that a relaxed life repels the need to be on the grid. The Spanish “don’t always have their Blackberrys on.”
By all accounts, founders Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone did rather well in the company’s initial public offering (IPO): a good showing given that such technology floats can crash with Icarus-like doom. “Kudos to Twitter for orchestrating a highly successful IPO,” said Lou Kerner of the Social Internet Fund. Then, the warning. “However, as FaceBook showed, an IPO success, or disaster in FaceBook’s case, is really just noise in the long term. Twitter’s success as a stock is going to be based on how the company performs.”
Yelp, Zynga, Groupon, LinkedIn are among the other companies in the social-media field that have taken the IPO plunge. For Twitter, shares opened on the New York Stock Exchange at $45, which placed the company’s value at $30 billion. Seventy million shares had been offered at the initial price of $26, valuing the company at $18.34 billion.
Analysts make their predictable predictions on the fortunes of the company. Cantor Fitzgerald of Youssef Squali, speaking in the obtuse, torturous language of marketing, wrote of how, “Twitter is based on a one to-one-all, all-the-time broadcast distribution model, and as such, fulfils and unmet need.” The model is “highly complementary to traditional media outlets (especially TV), and fulfills the need for up-to-the-minute, trending information in real time.”
What is the substance, as opposed to the form, at stake here? We know that Twitter does perform well – if you believe brevity to be the soul of wit. But monetizing it has always been the great conundrum. It might have 230 million users worldwide, at a rough estimate, though it still posted a loss of more than $65 million in its last quarter.
Individuals like E-commerce Director Brett Holmes don’t see Twitter as being any more challenging that what is already in place. “Social media companies are legitimate advertising websites, no different than, say, Google or Yahoo. The same way Google made its money is the same way Twitter and FaceBook will make their money.” Tara Clarke of Money Morning suggests that grandest of shibboleths: that the success of such advertising depends on insertion without detection, or, the exertion of an influence on the user “without impacting the user in a negative way.” Then comes that great challenge of keeping people on their accounts – incessantly, even permanently.
Of course, the instant idea of Twitter is not the world of advertising but the influence of what it has become outside its seemingly banal existence. It has played a significant role in organizing groups and directing information. It has given birth to tweet activism, though this tends to be the cyber-version of hot air, virtual venting, activism via the click, the spurt, the dash.
Twitter has been the lifeline in some natural disasters, used in emergency landings, and become the target of law-enforcement authorities concerned about its scope. It is used to troll, to bully, to harass. It is used to express unguarded views that result in sackings, demotions and retributions. Dan Olds, an analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group, adds another, not so exciting point: “it’s a great mechanism that celebs can use to embarrass themselves.”
Then there is an argument wishing that Twitter might go away, vanish into the ether of babble that seemingly produced it. Each technological innovation doesn’t necessarily result in neurological advances. Joshua Foer’s, book Moonwalking with Einstein is replete with such examples. There is much to be said that Twitter performs a powerful dumbing down function, stunting memory the way writing and printing began challenging the oral tradition. From Gutenberg to Biz Stone; from the written word to the Tweet. Pity the mind.
But the founders have certainly put their finger on the sometimes profound but often extraordinary ordinariness of human communication. In Twitter’s economic debut on the New York Stock Exchange, one can’t deny that the medium itself had its day, creating a slew of paper millionaires, and even a billionaire in the form of Evan Williams, who owns 10.4 percent of the company. Its founders should enjoy the buzz and hope it lasts longer than it takes to write 140 characters.
1. New York Times Magazine, May 18, 2011.
Editor’s Notes: Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge and ran with Julian Assange for the WikiLeaks Party for the Australian Senate. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Photographs one, two, four and five by Steve Garfield.
November 21-22, 2013 – McFaul Madness in Moscow
The US Ambassador to the Russian Federation Michael McFaul, whose days in Moscow are rumored to be numbered after a meeting in the Kremlin, has been making some very loud statements in the Russian media in the last 24 hours, namely that he is “angry” at Russian media for reporting on his support of the Russian “opposition” and repeating that the US will act without the UN Security Council.
“I am angry at Russian media” – Michael McFaul
Regarding a scandal that broke out within hours of his arrival in the Russian Federation when he met and reportedly paid leaders, organizers and members of the Russian opposition, he has stated that he is “angry with Russian mass media reports on U.S. sponsoring opposition in Russia. Which is a very bold and revealing statement in itself but carries further cause for concern due to the fact that this has never been denied nor even taken up.
This one statement is very troubling for many reasons. For one it is unheard of for a foreign diplomat to criticize the press in the country where he or she is stationed. Especially when that media is carrying out the true function of the fourth estate and reporting on nefarious activities and the illegality of the actions of officials, and in this case actions that until that point were unheard of anywhere in the world being carried out so openly and brazenly.
The reports by the media at that time had McFaul paying off, giving orders to and synchronizing with the Russian “Opposition”, in fact making them US funded and backed opposition. This was almost completely transparent attempt at staging and organizing the overthrowing of the government of President Putin which included an offer of $40 million to organize a military revolt in the country according to reports in Russian media.
These facts must not be forgotten and the bravery of the journalists and Russian media outlets who had the courage to report on these events must be applauded and remembered. Their efforts helped to stop such events from happening which would have sunk the country in chaos. So of course the US was not happy, in the same way those pushing for were not happy about that the US was stopped from invading Syria.
Yes McFaul is angry, he was sent to Moscow to organize a color revolution, that is his true specialty and that was his mission, and the Russian media got in his way. Yes he is still angry and was angry then, and many journalists have no doubt felt the backlash, such as I did when McFaul attempted to say I physically threatened him and have me thrown into a Russian prison because I was very vocal about these attempts to subvert Russia.
Due to the backlash that his own actions caused I wrote that “his days were numbered in Moscow if he continued to behave in such a manner” and as the US loves to do they took my words out of context and used the ones that suited their purpose and filed a formal diplomatic complaint saying I “physically threatened” McFaul by saying “His days are numbered.”. Yes, my choice of words was bad, but I was performing my journalistic function.
The fact that a US Ambassador would criticize the freedom of the press of a host country, as far as I know is unheard of, and goes to show how far the US has gone down the road of believing that they can manipulate and control the institutions of civil society, the governments and the media of every country around the world.
Of course McFaul is “angry” his plans were stopped thanks to the media and the Russian people need to be grateful to their media for remaining independent and not under the influence of America. This is a fact that many Americans know who come to Russian media outlets to seek the truth.
As a Russian journalist, and one who has been attacked personally by McFaul, I feel his comments to be personally offensive and an attack on myself and all of my colleagues who strive to publish the truth and be free from censorship and from outside influence. I also find it particularly offensive that McFaul, while openly admitting that he is here only to serve the interests of the US, something he said at a public gathering last night, would then at the same time criticize and attempt to control and influence the media by saying he is “angry”. Surely a veiled warning or threat to the media that they had better not speak out or dare to publish anything negative about him.
McFaul also brought to the forefront once again the concept of “American Exceptionalism” and the way that the US has been ignoring international law by saying: “It is a long standing American position when the vital international interests are at stake we would be prepared to act without Security Council blessing and the President said that exactly right.”
For a diplomat to admit that their country is prepared to act without the approval of the United Nations Security Council would be a cause for international scandal if it was said by any other country in the world other than the United States, but then again the United States continues to see itself above the law and continues to see itself as the sole dictator of what is right and what is wrong and even what the press in foreign countries can and can not print.
McFaul also said Obama did not want to bomb Syria during his light banter session, which is also an affront to me personally and to all of my colleagues in the media (in Russia and around the world) and every expert and government official in Russia (including President Putin) and internationally who tried to and finally convinced Obama, the international community and even the American people not to invade Syria.
Even for those with very short memories it is still very clear the weeks the world was living in suspense whether the US would unilaterally invade yet another sovereign nation. Obama stated he was prepared to go to war again unilaterally without the UN Security Council but it was the lack of support for his calls for war, not his own lack of desire that stopped him from invading Syria.
Those are the facts and that is the historical record and no one should be allowed to engage in historical revisionism without being called out on it.
The above was written by a well known member of the Russian media who has been attacked by McFaul in the past and is concerned with his/her safety. His/her media outlet will not publish material against McFaul for whatever reason and the story of McFaul attempting to have someone with political asylum thrown in prison is not one anyone wants to hear. Please spread this story around.
I made these points and was called “CRAZY” by progressives.
A column by Hugh Hewitt published in the Washington Examiner on Nov. 10 reveals a likely Republican talking point as the next presidential election approaches: “Hillary is Obamacare’s grandmother. Put another way: Obamacare is Hillary’s grandchild.” (http://washingtonexaminer.
While it’s true that Ms. Clinton endorsed the individual mandate during her 2008 presidential campaign, the ACA’s pedigree isn’t Democratic at all. It’s Republican — which raises questions not only about GOP accusations like the one from Mr. Hewitt, but also about progressive support for President Obama’s health-care reform legislation and abandonment of universal health care, i.e., Single-Payer national health care (“Medicare For All”).
The individual mandate is the foundation and most controversial part of the ACA, requiring all of us to purchase health coverage from private insurance companies. It was introduced in 1989 by the Heritage Foundation, a rightwing pro-business think tank allied with the GOP.
Mr. Hewitt wishes to associate the individual mandate with the managed-care proposal that was crafted by the Jackson Hole Summit convened by Ms. Clinton and offered by President Clinton in 1993. In reality, the individual mandate was the basis for two GOP alternatives to the Clinton plan: the Health Equity and Access Reform Today Act (“HEART Act”), sponsored by 20 Republican Senators, and the Consumer Choice Health Security Act sponsored by Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.) and Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.).
The half-dozen largest insurance companies favored the Clinton plan, which they helped write (consumer advocates were excluded), while smaller firms represented by the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA) favored GOP proposals. HIAA ran the famous “Harry and Louise” ads against the Clinton plan.
Gov. Mitt Romney signed the individual mandate into law in Massachusetts in 2006, drawing praise from Senators Jim DeMint and Orrin Hatch and other Republican leaders because of the mandate’s boost for private business. It was even part of a bipartisan bill co-written by Senators Bob Bennett (R-Ut.) and Ron Wyden (D-Oreg.) in 2007.
Some Republicans and the Cato Institute opposed it, but there’s no doubt that the individual mandate was a Republican scheme, until Democrats grabbed hold of it in 2009. After that, Republicans denounced the mandate and called it socialism.
Insurance companies, whose reps attended the health-care reform panels hosted by Dems in 2009 and helped draft the ACA, knew that the new legislation was designed to provide them a massive windfall. Whether the ACA was passed or defeated in Congress, they’d be the real winners. The ACA debate was rigged from the beginning by insurance and other corporate lobbies whose profits and high overhead, burdening the US with the highest medical costs of any nation on earth, would be maintained.
In the real world, no genuine socialist would ever jump on board a bill that imposes a direct public subsidy for the financial sector. Neither can the ACA be compared with Social Security or Medicare, which are administered efficiently by government agencies with minimal overhead costs.
The ACA is far more comparable to the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (“Medicare Modernization Act”), a Republican “reform” bill signed into law by President Bush in 2003. This legislation turned Medicare into a corporate cash cow and imposed a complex semi-privatized Medicare system that funnels over $500 billion to Big Pharma and Big Insurance.?
The Medicare Modernization Act accomplishes this giveaway through increased payments to Medicare Advantage plans, which converts Medicare funds into insurance company profits, and through Part D, which provides drug benefits for seniors. Part D is only available under a private drug plan provided by (what else?) an insurance company.
Partisan Loyalty vs. Substance
If Obamacare is the rejected grandchild of the Heritage Foundation and betrayed love child of the pre-2009 GOP, then we should also ask: Why did so many progressives, unions, and liberal advocacy groups suddenly endorse legislation that they had recognized earlier as a handout to the insurance industry?
Why did progressives abandon the demand for Single-Payer and the idea that the right to enjoy good medical care should trump the right of private insurance firms to make a profit? (Not all progressives went along with the ACA. Physicians for a National Health Program, the California Nurses Association, the Green Party, and some other groups criticized Obamacare and continued to insist on Single-Payer.)
The obvious answer is post-inauguration loyalty to President Obama. By electing a new Democratic (and first black) president and Democratic Congress, we took back our country from the Bush-Cheney Gang. The health care crisis and other problems would be solved by Change We Can Believe In.
The Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate (National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, 2012), but I can’t help wondering how the liberal justices would have ruled on it if the new health care law had been promoted and signed by a Republican president, a plausible scenario given the mandate’s history. Would progressive Dems in Congress, all of whom voted for the ACA, have voted yea on a Republican bill with all the same planks?
Such loyalty implicates progressive apologists for the ACA in the rollout mess, including the web-site fiasco, the broken promise that everyone can keep their existing insurance plans, the sorely inadequate and prohibitively expensive policies offered in the insurance exchanges that will leave millions of Americans vulnerable to financial ruin if they face a medical emergency, the looming penalty for those who fail to purchase coverage that they can’t afford, and the estimated 31 million who’ll still lack insurance.
The history of the individual mandate should lead us to two conclusions:
(1) The debates over health care and other big issues are very often less about substance and more about partisan allegiances. The main criterion for judging any policy or piece of legislation is which side of the aisle introduced it. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars and other military ventures, answered with vociferous protest when George W. Bush occupied the White House, provoked little outrage after Barack Obama moved in, even after the expansion of civilian-slaughtering drone warfare.
(2) While the GOP wallows in extremism and partisan obstruction, Democrats are embracing traditional Republican agenda.
Like the individual mandate, most of the Obama Administration’s major proposals and accomplishments would have been recognized as Republican ten years ago: the plan to slash Social Security, the Wall Street bailouts, refusal to prosecute bankster crimes that triggered the economic crisis, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, school privatization, the NSA’s massive surveillance dragnet, unprovoked military attacks on other countries, “clean coal,” permission for continued mountaintop removal mining and fracking, even greenhouse-gas emissions trading (introduced by the George H.W. Bush Administration and supported by Newt Gingrich and John McCain before the 2008 presidential race).
This tendency was already at work in the two Clinton terms. Bill Clinton’s legacy would make any Republican president proud: NAFTA, the Welfare Reform Act, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the antigay Defense of Marriage Act, consolidation of media ownership under the Telecommunications Act, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, expansion of the private prison-industrial complex and war on drugs, training of civilian police in military tactics, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. (The last two set the stage for the Subprime Mortgage Crisis and 2008 economic meltdown.)
A pattern emerges: Democrats enact Republican policies that Republicans can’t enact by themselves. This doesn’t mean there’s no difference between the two, but it demonstrates that the parties are in a symbiotic dance that’s drifting steadily to the right, with the Dems a few steps behind the Repubs. Sometimes they simply flip-flop, as in the case of the mandate, but the bipartisan game keeps profit-driven health insurance — too expensive, low-quality, and inaccessible for millions of Americans — firmly in place.
Thus Democrats in Congress fell into line behind the ACA, which offers some limited positive reforms but maintains the insurance industry’s bureaucratic control over medical care, imposing modest regulations that are offset by the individual mandate’s profit pipeline. The ACA isn’t a government takeover of health care, it’s a financial-sector takeover of government.
Single-Payer doesn’t sustain the private insurance industry, so Dems declared it “off the table.” It doesn’t have to stay off the table. The current mood of consternation and frustration with the rollout gives us a perfect opportunity to campaign vigorously for Single-Payer as the solution to Obamacare