Intl. Notebook Dec 2 2010
SILENCED MAJORITY
How do you turn fiction into fact? Leave it to mainstream journalism.


An item came across the wires today that we found quite interesting. Seems Lee Harvey Oswald’s coffin is being auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions of Los Angeles, CA. The reality of the auction certainly shows that there’s nothing that isn’t for sale, especially in America, but that isn’t what caught our eye. We first read about the event thanks to Hugh Collins of AOL News, and double-checked what we read by visiting several other news outlets. The pieces we encountered demonstrated not only the incredible laziness of mainstream journalism, but also the mechanism that keeps a myth in place in spite of fierce pushback from the public at large.

In the AOL article, for instance, Collins doesn’t refer to Oswald as the person arrested for Kennedy’s assassination. That would have been accurate. No, he instead refers to Oswald as the person “believed” to have killed Kennedy. Now, as we pointed out in our recent post on Oswald, the actual truth is that he is believed to have been part of a conspiracy. Depending on which survey you read, up to 81% of Americans think there’s something fishy about the official account of that sad day in Dallas, and that number was 52% in 1963 when Gallup conducted its first poll on the subject just days after the assassination. That means proponents of the official theory have never been in the majority. So how does all that translate in Collins’ mind to Oswald being “believed” to be Kennedy’s killer? Is it possible it’s because this is simply what he believes? Maybe, but more likely, he didn't bother to check what people actually believe and neither did his editors.

The problem here is a reader with doubts about the official assassination story might have read Collins’ piece and had those doubts put to rest, for today at least. They might have thought, “Oh, since I’m in the minority on this one, I guess I’ll just keep my mouth shut so I don’t look like a crackpot.” Are we saying the conspiracy theorists are right? Not at all. What we’re saying is there’s a tipping point at which you have to stop pretending people are crazy, and address the issues involved with intellectual honesty. We’re well past that point with Kennedy. Most people think there’s at least a shovelful or two of bullshit in the official account, and no, they cannot be equated with people who believe in extraterrestrial cow mutilations or the healing power of crystals. Disbelievers of the official Kennedy story are the vast majority, and those without doubts are the tiny minority, so maybe lets start referring to these groups properly, m'kay?

Oh, and nice coffin. Bidding starts at a grand, for those who have a ghoulish bent and some spare cash laying around. But before you bid we gotta be serious for a sec—having said all of the above, if you buy this filthy old box it's very possible that you actually are a crackpot.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
February 18
1954—First Church of Scientology Established
The first Scientology church, based on the writings of science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, is established in Los Angeles, California. Since then, the city has become home to the largest concentration of Scientologists in the world, and its ranks include high-profile adherents such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
February 17
1933—Blaine Act Passes
The Blaine Act, a congressional bill sponsored by Wisconsin senator John J. Blaine, is passed by the U.S. Senate and officially repeals the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution, aka the Volstead Act, aka Prohibition. The repeal is formally adopted as the 21st Amendment to the Constitution on December 5, 1933.
1947—Voice of America Begins Broadcasting into U.S.S.R.
The state radio channel known as Voice of America and controlled by the U.S. State Department, begins broadcasting into the Soviet Union in Russian with the intent of countering Soviet radio programming directed against American leaders and policies. The Soviet Union responds by initiating electronic jamming of VOA broadcasts.
February 16
1937—Carothers Patents Nylon
Wallace H. Carothers, an American chemist, inventor and the leader of organic chemistry at DuPont Corporation, receives a patent for a silk substitute fabric called nylon. Carothers was a depressive who for years carried a cyanide capsule on a watch chain in case he wanted to commit suicide, but his genius helped produce other polymers such as neoprene and polyester. He eventually did take cyanide—not in pill form, but dissolved in lemon juice—resulting in his death in late 1937.
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