Let’s pretend a company is introducing a new product that has three very special challenges. First, the product is very complicated and consumers will need a lot of support. Security is vital since sensitive personal information is involved. Finally, millions of sales are expected in just a few months.
So what does this company do? The first step would be to create a killer website and a world-class call center. It is important for people to be able to go to a local office, but none exist. The company could contract will local experts or make a deal with someone like Wal-mart to set up temporary offices.
This scenario is true. The only difference is that the federal government is involved, not a private company. They are trying to sign up millions of individuals for Obamacare. We all know how the web site worked out. They do have a call center although there has not been much publicity.
We hear very little about the method they used to provide a local presence. They gave money to left-wing groups, some tied to the now defunct ACORN, to sign up people. These groups are given wide latitude in how they do things. If they want to hire convicted felons, no problem. The thought of giving a criminal my Social Security number and financial information doesn’t thrill me. These groups are, in theory, nonpartisan but the head of one of the biggest groups said that they are all Obama people.
Navigators have been filmed telling people to lie about whether they smoke and hide income to receive a bigger government subsidy. We have no idea what other abuses are going on. I seriously doubt the Administration is providing much oversight.
The government has entered into the business of selling individual health insurance. They should run it like a business.
Recent blogs have been about history, both real and imagined. I plan to get back to current events but today I am writing about myself. Some bloggers focus on the minutia of their lives. I rarely write about my life but this is a story that I think is worth sharing.
We have all heard the saying that every cloud has a silver lining. I think it often is true that something positive can come from something negative. Sometimes it may be a life lesson. Many years ago I had a garage fire. It taught me not to put too much emphasis on possessions. This year I learned that even a dark storm cloud can have a lining of pure gold.
Back in 2000 I learned that I had a brain tumor. Fortunately it wasn’t malignant but it took much of my vision and still has a profound effect on my life. It was hard for me to see anything positive about the tumor. This past summer I met a woman online who faces some health challenges. She didn’t think any man would want her because of her health. Because of my situation, she decided to give me a second look. Now I have found the love of my life. The worst thing that ever happened to me helped set up the best thing that ever happened to me.
Life is full of twists and turns. All we can do is hang on and enjoy the ride.
There was little time for celebration. The Kennedy administration had to face two major issues; civil rights and Vietnam. Both were beginning to divide the country.
Kennedy had been hesitant to tackle civil rights. Even though he had huge majorities in Congress, many of them were conservative Southerners. After seeing violence in the south coupled with the March on Washington and Martin Luther King winning the Nobel Prize, he felt that he must act. He proposed legislation ending segregation and guaranteeing voting rights. This created a firestorm. Some politicians even switched to the Republican Party. His bills passed in the House of Representatives but were being filibustered in the Senate. Efforts to break the filibuster were unsuccessful. He knew there was only one person who could help him, Lyndon Johnson. Still smarting from his treatment as vice president, he graphically told Kennedy wouldn’t lift a finger.
Smarting from this defeat, Kennedy tried to push through other measures including antipoverty programs and health care for the elderly. Congress was in no mood to pass anything Kennedy wanted. These measures never even came up for a vote.
With his domestic programs stalled, Kennedy turned to foreign affairs. Clearly the biggest issue was the War in Vietnam. 16,000 troops were in Vietnam by 1963. The Pentagon wanted to increase that number to 100-150 thousand. Kennedy was wary after being misled by the Bay of Pigs. The Vietnamese government was corrupt and unstable. Kennedy decided there was no way the war could be won. He announced that Vietnam would receive increased aid but no more troops. By 1967 Saigon had fallen and the war was over. Kennedy was roundly condemned for losing Vietnam.
He knew he needed to do something bold to save his presidency. He chose to try to end the Cold War. He needed some leverage to bring the Soviet Union to the table. He stunned the world with the news thathe would go to China. He made some headway toward his goal but then ran out of time.
By 1968 Kennedy had some of the lowest approval ratings in history. Everyone assumed the Democrats would lose the presidential election. Robert Kennedy and George Smathers were obvious candidates but both close not to run. Hubert Humphrey beat out a large field to become the Democratic nominee. The Republican nomination went to Michigan governor George Romney.
Romney essentially picked up the Kennedy agenda. He managed to end the Cold War and pass civil rights legislation. People gradually began to see Kennedy in a new light. He continued to grow in popularity. By 1975 his precarious health had caught up with him. A stunned nation mourned his death. After Romney completed his two terms, New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy was elected president.
Hope you enjoyed my little tale.
Sometimes small changes in history can have a tremendous impact. If either of my parents had decided to skip a dance in the 1940’s, they wouldn’t have met and I wouldn’t be here. Today I would like to imagine what would have happened if a Texas School Book Depository employee had interrupted Lee Harvey Oswald before he could kill President Kennedy. Here we go…
The presidential motorcade made a sharp left turn onto Elm Street on the way to a luncheon. Suddenly gunfire erupted. The first shot missed its mark but the second shot hit both Kennedy and Governor Connally. Before Lee Harvey Oswald could fire a third shot, he was interrupted by another employee of the book depository. Oswald fired a shot killing the man instantly. By then the speeding vehicle was out of range.
As Oswald fled, the car sped to Parkland Hospital. The doctors treating Kennedy had to be told that he had Addison’s Disease. He was rushed into surgery. Meanwhile a shocked nation learned of the attempted assassination while a massive manhunt was launched. Soon a second search was under way. A Dallas police officer had been killed. They arrested the suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald, in a movie theater. Law enforcement officials soon realized they may have captured the man who shot the President.
The whole world seemed to stop while people awaited word on the president’s fate. Meanwhile reports filtered out about Oswald’s arrest. Hours later, doctors announced that Kennedy had survived his surgery and was expected to recover.
On Sunday Oswald was transferred to another facility. Amidst the chaos, a strip club owner named Jack Ruby landed a punch, breaking Oswald’s nose.
There was tremendous jubilation when Kennedy left the hospital and was able to return to the White House. The celebration was loudest in Texas. The sense of shame that the shooting happened there turned the state into ardent Kennedy supporters.
Two stories dominated the news in 1964; the presidential election and the trial of Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald was found guilty on all counts. Kennedy asked that his life be spared but he was sentenced to death for the two men he killed. After years of appeals, he was finally put to death in 1971.
Everyone knew Kennedy would run but the big question was whether Johnson would be on the ticket. He and Robert Kennedy never got along but now were mortal enemies. Johnson had enough and decided to retire to his ranch. His health was used as an excuse. Kennedy chose close friend Senator George Smathers of Florida as his running mate.
Meanwhile the Republicans were sharply divided between conservative Barry Goldwater and moderate Nelson Rockefeller. Goldwater won but the wounds were not healed. The Kennedy-Smathers team cruised to an easy victory.
Almost from the moment that we learned of John F. Kennedy’s, assassination, conspiracy theories began to appear. Each one seemed to blame a different group. This was to be expected. There were many legitimate concerns over how things were handled after the shooting. The murder of Oswald by strip club owner Jack Ruby fueled lots of speculation. Most of all, it just seems incomprehensible that a loser like Oswald could deprive the country of a beloved leader.
Polls show that a majority of Americans believe Oswald did not act alone. A congressional investigation concluded there was a second shooter. Nonetheless, I believe there is no credible evidence that anyone other than Oswald was involved.
It is easy to come up with a conspiracy theory but much harder to prove it. We hear a lot about the “magic bullet” that stopped in midair and then moved horizontally in the process of striking both Kennedy and Governor Connally. It assumes that the two men were sitting directly in line, at the same height and facing the same direction. None of these facts are correct and the bullet lines up perfectly if you look at how they were actually sitting. We also hear a lot about the second gunman at the wall of the grassy knoll. Actually measuring the figure shows it is too short to be human or is levitating behind the wall in midair. The congressional investigation reached its conclusion based on a recording from a motorcycle radio but had it at the wrong location.
The shooting of Oswald sure seems like a cover-up. If that is the case they would need to send someone to shoot Ruby, Ruby’s shooter and so forth. What most convinces me is that the FBI, CIA, Mafia, KGB, Castro or anyone else would involve someone like Oswald in a conspiracy.
Anything is possible. Even though no conclusive evidence has developed in the last 50 years, perhaps it will in the next 50 years.