Friday, July 29, 2011

A little perspective on debt and taxes.

1. We don't have a debt problem, we have an unemployment problem...regardless what the corporate press likes to present as news. Owing money is part of the system. It's OK as long as you can make the notes!

2. Families don't operate on a pay as you go plan either; and if they did, our economy would collapse. They borrow to buy durable goods and for emergencies. And that's OK as long as they can make the notes!

3. If  a wage earner works out of town and gets in a bind financially, he does not solve his problem by cutting out gasoline or refusing to borrow money to fix his car if it breaks down.

4. Neither does, or should, government. You don't solve the  debt problem without solving the unemployment problem and you don't create jobs by laying off teachers, cops, firemen and cutting out government contracts on repairing the road.

5. Why do those claiming to be Christian and whining over symbolic Christian trappings want to take the food  and health care from the elderly and poor while they insist on running up the deficit with tax cuts for those who won't even notice it?

6. The 1,200,000 tax payers for whom some are willing to bring the economy and financial system down can surely spare the additional $46 on each additional $1000 he earns. On the other hand, the wage earner making minimum wage or $18,000 a year would be happy to pay an additional $46 if he could earn $19,000 next year.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Are you naive or just a wimp? Every time you give up your principles in a vain attempt to get the GOPhonyies' cooperation, they pull the football out from in front of you like Lucy does to Charlie Brown and you fall on your ass. They don't like you, President Obama. They don't like you because:
1. You are a liberal (at least they think you are, I'm beginning to doubt it).
2. You are a Democrat (see parenthetical statement above).
3. You are an African American and you are president. Their overriding motivation is to make you a one-term president; and you are helping them!

It's time to listen to this speech by FDR and acknowledge their hate and fight back! You have the constitutional right and obligation to bay our debts. Stand up, take your hat out of you hand and tell them to take a hike. You have truth and public opinion on your side, ACT LIKE IT!  Let the Bush tax cuts expire while you legislate renewal for the lower income groups and you have a winner. Do that and in 2012, you will get back your majority.

On the other hand you are on the verge of losing your base!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Getting the ducks in a row...or what is the debt crisis really about?

Let's get one thing straight, the current legislative impasse has nothing to do with raising the debt ceiling. No matter which tax/revenue plan is finally adopted, the debt ceiling must be raised or our debts must be paid through invoking Section Four of the 14th Amendment which forbids any default on outstanding federal debt or through the commonly used action of Congress; which, ironically, was used seven times and by Bush and supported by republicans. 

The Teaparty led, or pulled, Republicans are playing with dynamite! Even the threat of default could result in a shock to the financial system,which would likely throw the entire world into a depression that would be far worse than anything ever seen before.  I don’t mean to scare people, but the entire US economy is based on “The Faith and credit of The United States Government”.  And, most countries in the world rely on the US for trade, deposits, and many other financial functions.  Thus, even if default doesn't actually occur, the ramifications of potential default could be just as bad.  Look at Greece and Portugal, who haven’t defaulted but have still been fighting a fiscal crises for months.

Dismissing the possibility that they are motivated by their stated goal of making Obama a one-term president, These are the people for whom the GOP is risking the welfare of the nation. Take a look at the tax situations of Americans. 

Howard Roark
Taxable income = $382,550
Current taxes = $103,487
Taxes under Obama plan =$106,698
Additional taxes = $3211
For every additional $1000 he earned, he would pay $46 more per year.

Milo Minderbinder
Taxable income = $214,200
Current taxes = $47,932
Taxes under Obama plan = $47,932
Additional taxes = 0

Joe the Plumber
Taxable Income = $84,350 
Taxes under Obama plan = $13,260
Additional taxes = 0

Harold the laborer
Taxable Income = $34,850
Current taxes = $4,370
taxes under Obama plan = $4,370
Additional taxes = 0

Bob and Mary the new college graduates
Taxable income = $8,575
Current taxes = $857
Taxes under Obama plan - $857
Additional taxes = 0 

There are approximately 140 million tax payers in the United States. 
Less than 2%, perhaps as few as 1% of them had incomes of more that $250,000 per year. These are the people whose taxes Obama is proposing  to allow to return to where they were when the country had a surplus! Don't be fooled by the rhetoric of the GOPhonies. These are not job creators, they are derivatives investors.  For the other 98 to 99% of income earners, Obama would allow the tax decrease of 2001 to remain. This latter group consists of  people who spend nearly all they earn on consumer goods and services, the real job producers. It's the disproved supply side vs demand side economics all over again, or more aptly, still! 

The Teaparty controlled GOP is holding a gun at the head of America to protect a small group of wealthy Americans who are facing the catastrophic increase of an additional 4.6% or an additonal $46 on each additional $1000 they earn. This would have absolutely no impact on their spending decisions on consumer goods or investments. On the other hand, looked at in the aggregate, returning the tax rates to the surplus era of Clinton would  save  approximately $2.48 Trillion over a ten year period. This, along with a withdrawal of troops from the oil war area would balance the budget.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Mormon's view of the 20th Century: The Fontana boxing tournaments....

The boxing tournament. The boxing tournament turned out to be a big thing. The bouts were held once a week, maybe twice, through the summer. There was a big card, a lot of bouts, and were well attended. I had six fights, winning four with two draws. I later beat the guy who beat one of my draws for the championship. The bouts were only two rounders so there were a lot of draws. I honestly felt that I won all six fights. I beat Howard Tarr in the final. It was a TKO. He wasn’t disabled, he just didn’t want to fight any more. Bill and Sonny were very good boxers and finessed their opponents. I was just all punching.

There were some good bouts. Bonner Russell was a year younger but real big and was polishing off  opponents with ease. He got a lot of attention. Eddie Ferraro, who had also moved with his family to work the mill, was a tough kid and a good athlete. He didn’t get involved in the tournament in time to be a competitor for a title but he challenged Bonner in a “exhibition” match. It was in the front page of the local paper. The park was jammed for the bout. I think they let this one go three round and Eddie handled him pretty easily. The attention he got in the local paper, got Bill Abernathie’s attention and he challenged Eddie Ferraro. Another sell out. This one was also scheduled for three rounds but Bill broke Eddie’s nose with his first punch and it was over in about 10 seconds.

But the best fight of the summer wasn’t actually in the tournament. It was in the driveway of the fire station. Bill Bray and I had the gloves on and were going at it pretty good when a big kid walked over from the park to watch us. We both watched him out of the corner of our eyes wondering who he was and what he wanted. I don’t know about Bill but I feared the worst. Neither of us knew him. I figured he was another of the immigrants from the steel states who came with his parents to work the mill. Did I say he was big? After a while he said that he wanted to take one of us on. We stopped and looked at him and then at each other.  Neither of us wanted to offend him. I started to remove my gloves  and told Bill that I was a little tired anyway and suggested that he go a while with him. Bill was quicker and already had his off,  handing them to the giant. I was trapped.  We circled a while, eyeing each other. I feinted a left jab and the big kid threw both his arms up in front of his face. I smiled at Bill and faked a jab at his stomach and let him have one right in the chops. I did that a few times and Bill came over and said, “Brooks, you need a rest, I’ll take him for a while.” I gave him my gloves and Bill really did take him a while. We never saw him again. I have no idea who he was or where he came from.

In Europe, the war was being taken to the Germans. They had failed in Stalingrad and Hitler was taking desperate actions with total conscription including young boys. On March 13, 1943, an attempt on his life failed. Russia was demanding a second front and Eisenhower and Mongomery were appointed as leaders. Americans continued relentless strategic bombing of Germany with heavy losses.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Mormon's view of the 20th Century: Racism in the South in 1952

PFC David A Dansby.  Dansby was a young man who was transferred into AT&M from  another regiment of the 82nd. That’s a common situation. What was different about this was, Dansby was a black (colored in those days) soldier. He was the first black member of the 82nd to serve in a theretofore all white unit. On July 26, 1948, President Truman signed Executive Order 9918 which read in part:

“It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin. This policy shall be put into effect as rapidly as possible, having due regard to the time required to effectuate any necessary changes without impairing efficiency or morale.”

It apparently took four years for the 82nd to implement the order. It didn’t seem odd to me because my basic training unit at Fort Ord was integrated. But it was an unpleasant shock to most.  AT&M Platoon was among them. Dansby was quiet, friendly, intelligent and NON-CONFRONTATIONAL. I couldn’t believe how he was treated by my friends, particularly those from the South. Far from giving him some emotional room, the “nigger” jokes ran amok.  Dansby was obviously irritated and hurt but he kept his mouth shut.  I didn’t participate but neither did I do anything to stop it. I could have. I wasn’t afraid of anybody in my platoon but didn’t feel the need to get into fights over Dansby. He was not very big or physically imposing – probably about 5-10 and 170 pounds.

Like Bernard Turner, my black friend in basic, he was funny and personable. Gradually the guys grew to like him and the bad taste jokes pretty much stopped. We grew to respect his feelings. I was probably more his friend than anyone else.  I had a car. I was driving to Fayetteville one day and I saw him waiting for the bus. I stopped and offered him a ride but he politely declined. I coaxed him but to no avail. I guess I knew but insisted on an answer as to why. He feared being seen in Fayetteville getting out of a car driven by a white man. I’m not making this up. In my best bravado, I told him that I wasn’t afraid of those locals. His reply was, “I am.” He took the bus. It piqued my interest and may have been a key to my developing political views. The fundamental and critical fact that became clear to me as I trained, ate, slept, discoursed and joked with Dansby was there was only one thing that was different about him and that was his African features.

My exposure to the  agitation and discomfort that Dansby’s assignment to our platoon caused piqued my interest in how blacks were being treated in the South. The theater in Fayetteville had a balcony and all the coloreds had to sit in the balcony. If the balcony was full and other seats were empty, they remained empty. The manager would rather lose the revenue than permit coloreds to sit with whites. Colored people were not permitted to eat with whites in restaurants and most of the up scale restaurants didn’t serve coloreds at all. There were always two drinking fountains, one for whites and one for coloreds. The white one was always well maintained and the other one always had green water stain and other grime on it.

Colored bus riders had to ride on the  back of the bus. Earlier, before I knew of the law, I got on a bus in Fayetteville. I always sat in back on the bus or streetcar so I routinely went there. The bus driver told me I would have to come up front.  I politely declined, still not aware of what was going on. Then he got a little hostile and told me he wasn’t moving until I came up front. I started to catch on but I was young and wasn’t going to be intimidated. I called back and said, “OK with me, you’re the one on a schedule, not me.” There was a black lady sitting near me and she told me that she was on a schedule and please do what the driver says. So I did. It was kind of fun to me but in retrospect, it wasn’t fun at all.

Dansby was followed by other black soldiers. The next one was a young kid name Lipscomb. Lipscomb was an athlete. He was the 1952 version of a wide receiver. He showed me some of his clippings from high school. Thanks to Dansby he had it easy. He was the youngest one in our platoon and treated pretty well. I believe we ended up with a total of 6 blacks in our company and were finally accepted. The grunts weren’t the problem.

I was reading the bulletin board in front of the Orderly Room for assignments and Sgt. Odum was beside me. Two black troopers walked by on their way to chow.  Sgt. Odum stared at them as they approached and passed by. Then he turned to be, shook his head sadly and said, “If I had ten years more or ten years less, I’d get out of this army today.”  He felt that something he cherished, the 82nd Airborne,  pride and joy of the United States Army, America’s acclaimed Guard of honor, had been fatally weakened by having black soldiers stand in their ranks. Odum was a good man, a hero of WWII,  someone who I looked up to.  I wondered what was going to happen to America when all these soldiers went home.

In May, 1951, Sgt. Cornelius H. Charlton's unit pushed northwards with the Eighth Army. On June 2, near the village of Chipo-ri northeast of Seoul, his platoon encountered heavy resistance while attempting to take Hill 543. Taking command after his platoon leader was wounded, Charlton regrouped his men and led an assault against the hill. Wounded by a grenade, he refused medical attention and continued to lead the charge. He single-handedly attacked and disabled the last remaining enemy gun emplacement, suffering another grenade wound in the process. Sergeant Charlton, a black soldier from New York City,  succumbed to his wounds that day, dying at the age of 21. For his actions during the battle, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

On Christmas night, 1951, Harry T. Moore and his wife were fatally injured at home by a bomb that went off beneath their house. It was the Moores' twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Moore died on the way to the hospital in Sanford, Florida. His wife died from her injuries nine days later.

Moore has been called the first martyr in the Civil Rights Movement. He was the first NAACP official murdered in the civil rights struggle. The murders caused a national and international outcry, with protests registered at the United Nations against violence in the South. The NAACP held a huge rally in New York, where the renowned poet Langston Hughes read a poem written in memory of Moore.

Although the state called in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to help the investigation, it was unable to bring any indictments against the suspects.

There were eleven other bombings against black families in Florida the year that Moore was killed. The risk to activists and any blacks in the South was high and continued to be so. According to a later report from the NAACP's Southern Regional Council in Atlanta, the homes of forty black Southern families were bombed during 1951 and 1952. Some, like Harry Moore, were activists whose work exposed them to danger, but most were either people who had refused to bow to racist convention, or were simply "innocent bystanders, unsuspecting victims of random white terrorism." For example, bombing was prevalent in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1950s, used by independent KKK groups to intimidate middle-class blacks moving into new neighborhoods.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Putting Obama in perspective...

Liberals and Progressives who are as angry at and disappointed with Obama as I am need to take a deep breath before joining the Republicans in their obsessive cause celebre of making Obama a one term president at the expense of bringing our nation down. I reluctantly have to agree that Obama has been a disappointment in his weakness in dealing with the Republicans. I'm not sure whether it is weakness, naivete or lack of experience. Hillary probably would have done better!

Take a look at the performance of the Republicans, who are either controlled by the Koch inspired Teaparty or bullied by them. A defining example of their putting their party success in the next election over the good of the country is their killing the Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011.

Before you throw in the towel, and concede the world to the Teaparty, look at what they would do. Look at the year long Huckabee plea for people to sign a petition to repeal the Health Care Act.  Not only is the ad full of lies, in fact there is not one truth, it can't happen. It is impossible. It is nothing more than an effort to rile up the irrational right. Again, before you throw in with those who would repeal it, take a look at what it does for Americans. It's not single payer which most of us wanted but it is better, far better, than what we had before and it makes a healthy core to improve.

Let's look at the failing economy.  Most Keynesian economists knew the original stimulus package was too small and told Obama so. In fairness to Obama, he probably saw the resistance forming and, as has become his MO, tried to compromise with an unyielding ill-motivate Republican party who saw a bad economy as their ticket to power. He should have known better and still hasn't learned from his experience. In addition to whittling the bottom line amount to a fraction of the original proposal, the opposition removed most of the money directed to state and local government without which the stimulus was doomed to a slow recovery if not a double dip.

So the bottom line: Obama is not a Roosevelt, Truman or Eisenhower. And as for getting his laws passed, he is no Bush or Reagan who were very effective in getting bad laws passed. I will not have a lot of passion supporting Obama but I can still wax passionate in resisting the Teaparty and what Romney has become...whatever that is.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Mormon's view of the 20th Century: Battle of the sexes

Unfortunately, Jack wasn’t always around to break up my fights. I could have used some help on the next one.  Mona and I weren’t getting along for a while. I don’t know what the problem was. My routine was to get together with her every evening after work to just hang out, go to a movie, a drive, play some hoops or whatever. There was a period where we were just getting on each others nerves. I decided that I wasn’t going to argue with her the next evening. I went over to her house and watched TV for a while. She asked if I wanted to go somewhere. I just shrugged. A little later she suggested we go down town and have a milk shake. I didn’t reply, I just got up and started to the door. We went to a local drug store where they had a soda counter and drank our milk shake without comment. She was fuming and I was getting into it. I guess I was being what they call “passive aggressive?” She asked, no ordered, me to take her home so I did. I think about this time, we were both about ready to break off our relationship.

We drove home in total silence except for some soft music on the radio. When I pulled up in her driveway, I didn’t turn the engine off and just sat waiting for her to get out. She opened the door and turned to me and said, “I’m through with you, why don’t you go find yourself a boy friend.” I swung around a little in my seat so I was facing her and gave her my best fake grin and said, “No Mona, next time, I think I’ll try a girl friend.” I really thought it was a great response. Mona didn’t like it!  I never even saw it coming but she caught me on the bridge of the nose with her doubled up fist. I had no idea girls could do that. I had been in a lot of fights and had been punched a lot. I saw stars and my right eye was immediately swollen completely shut and my left eye was just barely still open. I slumped over the steering wheel and she asked, “Are you OK?” Now she was worried about my well being! I said, “No, I’m not OK, it hurts a lot but in a few minutes it will stop hurting and if you’re still in my car, I’m going to forget that men don’t hit women.”

The next day,  Bubbles was riding to work with me.  When he got in the car, he gave me a double take and said “What in the hell happened to you?” I knew I would have to explain and was ready. I told him that last night Mona was driving and made a panic stop and my nose hit the dashboard. He looked at me unbelieving, bent over toward the dash board and his nose never came close to the dashboard and  he looked up at me with a knowing smile. I told him that was the only story he was going to get, take it or leave it.

America was just beginning to savor the post war euphoria. GIs who had gone to school on the GI Bill were graduating. Veteran housing loans made it easy for veterans to buy homes and the pentup demand for housing exploded. In Southern California, entire hillsides were covered with homes virtually overnight. America was developing the strongest middle class in history. The baby boon was on. Backyard barbecues had become the entertainment focal point but trouble was brewing outside the purview of the average American.

The Red Chinese had chased Chiang off the mainland to Taiwan. The Russian puppet dictator N. Korean, Kim II Sung, was pleading with the Russians for approval to unite the two Koreas by invading South Korea. Russia developed their own atom bomb. The American military budget was drastically cut.  McArthur’s command in the far east was bifurcated for all intents and purposes. The military command in Korea had little or no access to McArthur. The best military leaders were kept in Japan. The Korean based troops were under staffed, poorly led, poorly trained and ill-equipped. Many of their weapons were out dated and no longer functional. The general attitude among the American military in the far east was that Korea was an annoyance but certainly no threat.

In Washington, politicians were debating the future of the American military and the role the US would/should play in the developing cold war. On the one side, Russia was seen as the same clumsy country with nothing more than “ostensible” egalitarian tzars and no threat either economically or militarily. On the other hand, Russia was seen as a serious threat of ideologically and physically taking over the world. Trouble was brewing and it was just a few months away.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ending the deficit is simple...mathematically!

End the Bush tax cuts and bring the troops home...from everywhere. And let's be honest, liberals, progressives and other democrats, they are no longer the Bush wars they are the Obama wars. But "It was under Mr Bush that the deficit spiraled out of control as we fought an unnecessary and endless $3,000bn war in Iraq..."

Current budget figures fore the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not auditable but are estimated to be in the $37 Billion per year range. You can bet that the estimate is low. Add that to the $496 Million per year that the Bush tax cuts cost and you come up with an annual cost of $533 Billion per year. The projected year end deficit for 2011 is $16 Billion. End the tax cuts and bring the troops home and you have a surplus of over $500 Billion dollars; enough to be a realistic economy stimulus which could increase revenue another $100. 

Why is this not simple to do? Because there are too many war profiteers who do not want an end to the war and too many politicians who are not willing to let the Bush tax cuts to expire. What this tells us is that the we no longer have a government of the people, by the people and for the people, we have a government by the rich, of the rich and for the rich. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Corporations own the government or government controls the corporation...

Take your pick! Imagine the world becoming a Wal-Mart company town.

Corporations were distrusted and feared from the first days of our new country. In deed, it was a corporation, the East India Company that started the revolution with it's monopoly on the sale of tea and it's control of the British government. It has been said in jest that corporations run the entire world! And now they've fooled you into working for them. This is, in fact, the truth and, in fact, not funny!

Corporations were formed to make money and for no other reason. The law makes them exempt from the consequences of their mistakes and even crimes. A corporation cannot be sent to prison. Their owners, the stockholders, are exempt from the misdeeds of the people who run them as are the ones who run them.  They have no lifespan, they live forever and are able to amass huge sums of money.

Ronald Reagan and his conservative co-conspirators have used moral issues to convince poor Americans to vote against their economic interests. Thanks largely to convincing working-class voters — that is, the people who lost the most — that Democrats were anti-family, anti-America and, subtly, anti-white, Reagan and his followers engineered the greatest inequalities of wealth in more than a century. This inequality of wealth, besides being unchristian and unfair. 

The corporation is irresponsible, because in an attempt to satisfy the corporate goal, everybody else is put in risk. The founding fathers, at least some of them, feared corporations far more than they feared big government.

It is clear today that the early fears of corporations and their ability to accumulate money were justified.  The concept of One World has been kicked around for centuries, both for good and for bad but never really taken seriously. The most serious attempt was the United Nations which was highly motivated for establishment of peace and harmony but it has failed and thanks to Bush and the invasion of Iraq has become irrelevant. But the rise of mega rich corporations and globalization along with the Citizens United decision may well have made this a fait accompli and far from the noble hopes of Roosevelt, Wilson and the founders of the United Nations, the purpose of our One World is for profit and accumulation of wealth by as few corporations and profiteers as possible. Never mind that this situation cannot sustain itself, conscienceless corporations care only about the next bottom line. 

Corporations now truly rule the world but how long can it last?

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Mormon's view of the 20th Century: The Rise and Fall of the American Middle Class

From Chapter 8:

In 1962, Dede got sick.  She had swollen lymph nodes in her right groin. On a Tuesday, they removed the nodes and did a biopsy. Dr. Stewart warned us that it was not going to be a simple thing.  On Thursday, I was on duty and went to the hospital where I met Maureen and Dr. Stewart told us that she had cancer. We were stricken and both broke up. She was five years old!  The prognosis was bleak, the fatality rate for that form of cancer, we later learned it was called “non-Hodgkins Lymphoma,” was over 98%. Dr. Stewart told us that they didn’t remove the nodes on the other side of her groin because if they were infected, it meant that the cancer had moved through her body and it would be futile. He also said he suspected it had because her spleen was swollen to three times it’s normal size. It was nearly more than I could handle. 

I had someone call the PD to tell them what was going on and to pick up my police unit. I went home with Maureen and Dede.  I was off the rest of the weekend but I couldn’t return to work on Sunday and took bereavement leave. I wasn’t sure if an illness qualified for it but the City gave it to me. The City and the Department, especially the cops, were very supportive and I’ll be grateful the rest of my life.

Maureen and I are both LDS. We had become inactive because it was hard to be active with shift work. That, of course, was rationalization but that’s the excuse I used. As a matter of fact, I had started smoking on the long boring midnight patrol shifts and I had began drinking more. But we never stopped being Mormons. We took her to Church on Sunday.  We believed that our, Dede’s, only hope was God. Our Home Teacher, Lee Bjelland, arranged for Bishop Grasteit to give her a Priesthood Blessing.

Tuesday, we took her to Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles where she was to be treated.  Dr. Brubaker took a bone marrow sample and examined her. He told us that perhaps the original examination was in error because her spleen was normal, no swelling. Maureen and I looked at each other about to cry and Maureen told the doctor that she had a blessing in church on Sunday.  Dr. Brubaker said, “You’re Mormons, aren’t you” and we said we were. He said, “So am I and now I think I understand why the spleen is not swollen.” The next day we waited for the results of the bone marrow test and it was negative. There was hope.

On October 15, 1962, Amerian reconnaisance spotted Russian missiles under construction in Cuba. A crisis developed that put the world closer to nuclear war than  anytime in history – before or since. Tensions finally began to ease on October 28 when Khrushchev announced that he would dismantle the installations and return the missiles to the Soviet Union, expressing his trust that the United States would not invade Cuba. Further negotiations were held to implement the October 28 agreement, including a United States demand that Soviet light bombers be removed from Cuba, and specifying the exact form and conditions of United States assurances not to invade Cuba.

November 2, 1963 - South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem was executed during a coup.

November 22, 1963 – President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Tx. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested after killing a Dallas police officer and charged with both crimes. Two days later, Jack Ruby shot Oswald while being escorted by two Dallas detectives. Nearly 60 years later, many believe that the crime has not been solved. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in shortly after Kennedy declared dead and the world is still speculating on what would have developed in Viet Nam had Kennedy not been slain.