Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Kennedy Assassination

I came to Dallas at age 13 three years before the assassination. I recall an article in the paper about General Walker being fired on, was it a year or so before Kennedy’s assassination, and just missed. ‘He had leaned down to get a closer look at something in his library.’ General Walker was an odd icon of a right wing militarist who I believe ran for Governor. The route that the attempted murderer, took in leaving a vantage point near his property in the area between Oak Lawn and Highland Park was a year or two ago explained again in the paper. Apparently, Oswald attempted the ‘assassination.’ Then there were the incidents of a crowd attacking LBJ and Adlai Stevenson subsequently if I recall correctly. One of the governors of Texas in the fifties, Alan Shivers, had said that Texas needed to bring in more intellectual talent and this happened. But then there was the strange mix of Southern revanchism added in reaction to a growing liberalism. So when I turned on the radio at home midday Nov 23, 1963; we had the day off I believe for the visit, but I was doing my homework, and I heard that the president had been shot, I was not surprised and recalled that I had felt something ‘would happen.’ How strong that feeling was was probably influenced, as in my view the ‘conspirator believers’ are, by a truth that Clausewitz observed when he said ‘that the social importance of a solution did not increase the difficulty of a problem but did increase the merit of a solution.’ And so also was Oswald advanced to his repetition compulsion. Ron Rosenbaum has some other ideas.


Perhaps in response to comment #44 about the 'mob idea' for the assassination, comment #46 was launched, to which I would reply as follows:

When a person says that somebody has slipped into their apartment and changed a bookmark in a book, I don’t consider that I can prove it didn't happen but might consider that there aren't singular circumstances in their life that make that a reasonable possibility. That isn't a psychoanalysis; I’m not considering why they might be making a false assertion which would be psychoanalysis. In the first instance, people don't decide likelihood of truth on the basis of the logical consistency of a story. There is nothing logically impossible in the 'bookmark' vignette. A psychiatrist does however get used to looking for arguments that connect to an absurd assumption. I am merely offering what to me is a hypothetically ‘absurd’ assumption in the mob theory. People also decide what is worth learning about and what they might stay pragmatically ignorant about. The truth likelihood based on this initial consideration gets the ‘mob theory’ in the category of something I might preserve my present state of rational ignorance about.

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