Mob/Mafia, J. Edgar Hoover, Kennedy, and Politics


Heavy title – right? Well, it all fits together.

In 1963, my president was murdered (a simpler verb than assassinated). To this day, it has not been solved to my satisfaction. But, because I have always had an unhealthy admiration for the mob/Mafia (the difference is the Mafioso had to be directly connected to the Sicilian Mafioso, but since there were Irish and Jews, and later Russians, so connected to mob actions, I will call them the Mob), I have been watching the Monday night series of Mob movies, and The Making of the New York Mob, on TCM, narrated by Ray Liotta.

Because of the movies and the series, I have checked a couple of books out of the library, one a book about Lucky Luciano, and the other The Sinatra Club, written by Sal Polisi with Steve Dougherty. I decided to read The Sinatra Club first, waiting until the series is over (this coming Monday night) to read about Luciano. Besides, Sal Polisi, an ex-member of the Mob, is one of the people interviewed for this series, The Making of the Mob. It has been quite an eye-opener.

Let me say first of all, I have never considered myself naïve, except about sex), but I was most certainly raised in a church-cult family, and the mob was not part of my education. We who were raised in the 40s and 50s outside of mob-dominated areas were quite simply not given information about that kind of Life, and so we were ignorant of those things. Later, after I left home, even living six years in Las Vegas, I simply did not pay attention.

So my theory of why John Kennedy was killed is related to the Vietnam War, and I thought because Kennedy was going to stop our participation in that war, that is what caused him to be murdered – and I put the blame on those war-mongers who wanted the war to continue so they could keep making money on the war machine.

But Polisi, who was known as Sally Ubatz during his mob days, has written a very compelling chapter in this book showing that John Kennedy was murdered because the mob did not like that the mob was removed from Havana, Cuba, by Castro, and it was blamed on Kennedy. And that the murder of Kennedy was orchestrated by J. Edgar Hoover at the behest of the mob. Rather than try to write what has been written without permission of the writers, I suggest you go to your public library, look up the book (number 364.1092P768P) and open it to Chapter 11 on page 122 of the hardback edition published by Gallery Books in 2012, titled Crime of the Century, and read it. It is truly a compelling story. I have heard from numerous people that they thought it was a mob hit, which I have argued against, and which I am now thinking might be the truth. Also, according to this book, the mobsters involved end up regretting that it was not Bobby they killed. Well, he was later, and I never really knew why.

Leaders of the mob seem to have been in the pockets of a lot of politicians of those days, and I have believed that ever since I first had knowledge of the Mob/Mafia, though I never knew to what extent. That could be naivety, or it could simply be that I wasn’t paying attention. Obviously I reckoned they had to be covered by politicians and lawmen during the prohibition, but I simply did not know how deep it was in the 40s-70s. They were involved in the Black Market (probably they were the Black Market), during World War II, and this is where some of their millions of dollars came from, after prohibition. Also, although The Godfather tried to make me believe not all bosses were involved in the drug trade, I seem to have been misled, or just wrong.

I also learned that blacks were not accepted by members of the Mob/Mafia. During the early 60s, there was a group within the groups called SPONGE, which meant Society for the Prevention Of Negroes Getting Everything.

According to this book (which I am only half-way through), the Mob was “disbanded/wiped out” in the late 70s. But I am no longer naïve about such things. I find myself looking at what is happening in today’s politics being once again driven by mobsters. I am looking at people like the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson as being mobsters, and officially heads of organized crime. Maybe I’m late to this party, but I just wasn’t looking at it that way before.

We know many politicians have/have had money-people in their pockets. For some reason I think I just thought it was individual greed, but I am coming to the conclusion that this is no longer correct. There are too many things going on in American government and politics that are repeats of things that occurred in the 20s through the later decades. Most of the things going on, stealing of money, non-payment of taxes, killings, stepping on the poor, cutting of benefits for the non-privileged – these things are being brought to resolution by legislative enablers.

Blacks are being systematically murdered by officers of the law. Treasonous acts are being committed by legislators, and not being punished for them. I wonder how many heads of alphabet companies, corporations, systems have resigned because they were not eager to join in. Why has the FBI never had a leader who lasted as long as J. Edgar Hoover did.

I cannot believe Obama is mixed up in any of this because of the intolerance against black people shown in the past. I wonder at the amount of security he has that I just considered racism before, but now think it might be because men bigger than simple racists might be involved. Yet now we are opening the doors to Havana again, which I have been applauding and still do, but am suspicious once again that the Mob might move in on Havana to bring their empires into the public eye again.

I truly hope this is not too muddled, but in the process of learning how the Mob/Mafia have operated in this country, has operated in the past, learning about another side of the Kennedy story, learning that J. Edgar Hoover was not pure as Eliot Ness, nor were a great deal of the FBI, watching white policemen openly murdering black people, and hearing some of the trash coming out of many politicians’ mouths (and wondering why marijuana hasn’t been legalized across the country), I begin to see a different story altogether.

Think about it.

PS: I have decided that although in the past I thought my admiration for the mob might have been because they believed in family (in my ignorance, I thought that simply meant wives and children – family, not Family), it could also be because I have wanted so many times to take vengeance against someone who ill-used me, but haven’t dared because I fear Karma, and I enjoyed watching them do revenge in movies. I begin to see my admiration has been mistakenly given.

Carol Stepp, Austin, TX

Double PS: The Sinatra Club was so-named because Frank Sinatra was a hero from Hoboken to the Italian members of the Mafia, but though I know Frankie was probably friendly with some of these bosses, I don’t believe he lived the life necessarily. Even though I remember John Kennedy was advised to stop associating with Frank Sinatra, and Peter Lawford was also warned about his involvement since he was married to a Kennedy sister, Patricia. And later divorced. Oh yeah, I have always adored Frank Sinatra, and loved the Rat Pack.

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Celtic Thunder Five Years Later


Last night, tired of TV and looking at DVDs to watch, I glommed onto my Celtic Thunder DVDs. I thought, it has been several years since I looked at any of these – maybe I would enjoy them again.
I first discovered Celtic Thunder back in 2009 – the first time I ever saw them on PBS. I enjoyed them very much. About a year later, I saw them a second time on PBS, and at that time, I vowed to give them a year of my life, publicizing them in numerous blogs, as a group and as individuals. I wrote my first blogs about them on MySpace, but within a few months, I got my Facebook page and then switched the blogs to WordPress. So I probably have some in a few places.
I stuck it out, I saw them live in November 2010 (when I was a bit disappointed because the seating was not very good in Houston), but I got to chat with Ryan, and got my photo taken with him.
But Sharon Browne got in the way, and the bloom fell off the roses, and then both Paul and Damian left the group. Ryan was having problems with crazy female fans, having to have security for himself, and a while later he left the group, for a while. I quit writing my blog in March 2011, exactly one year after I started writing it. I held to my plan, but I was a bit disillusioned with the things going on within the group.
I have all of their DVDs through the 1st edition of Voyager. I have the CD for Voyager, however, so I think I have all the music, even if not all on DVD. I quit listening to them, and quit watching the DVDs, from Voyager until yesterday.
They wear well. I very much enjoyed the three DVDs I watch last night. I watched It’s Entertainment, which is even more beautiful on the 32″ HD 1080psi TV I bought in January. I was so impressed by the colours on my old TV, but this is so much better. It was a joy to watch Paul, Damian, Keith, Ryan, and our beloved George, and I really loved seeing Sephira again. Of course, I have a couple of Sephira recordings, but it was nice seeing them. Watching Neil in his first appearance as a solo singer (I still think that while he can sing, I most of all love his guitar work). I had fun with Keith’s surfer medley (well, I’m a 60s sort of person, having spent those years in my 20s, and loving long-haired men), and Paul’s Doo Whacka Doo.
I also watched Heritage, which is probably, in terms of time passed, my fave of the bunch. So much to enjoy on Heritage: Paul and Damian in duet; Ryan and George in duet; George singing Skye Boat Song with Brendan on the long pipes; Home From the Sea (well, my fave job in 47 years was the mid-20s when I managed merchant seamen’s bar; as a Celt, the sea is in my blood); seeing Nicole get some solo time (though I certainly missed Sephira); Neil with Noirin; Paul singing Robbie Burns; and the best one of all, Keith and Neil on Whiskey in the Jar, a real treat, magnificent, just wonderful.
I finished up the evening with my edition of Voyage.  I missed musicians who had left the group in its big makeover – Phil, the original music director, of course Paul and Damian, Brendan.  But Nicole was still there, and our beloved George was still with us.  I liked Emmet a lot, excellent voice, and thought he was a good edition to Keith, George, and Ryan.  And the ladies were good, though I still missed Sephira.  There are some standouts on this DVD, like Emmet’s two solos, plus the fun Clancy Bros. Medley and The Galway Girl, Keith’s own All Day Long.  I particularly, though, am glad to have a copy of George with Red Rose Café, again partly because it reminds me of my old days with the merchant seamen’s bar I once managed.

Things have changed with the lads:  George has left us, Keith is engaged, Damian has a cute girlfriend, and is a beautiful man; Paul and his Dom got married, and I still get regular posts from him.  I also had the pleasure of seeing his first show on PBS, and have both the DVD and the CD from his solo effort.  He just last night sent out a notice to us about signing a new contract that we can look forward to.  And Damian is home in Ireland for a few weeks.

I am glad I have these recordings, and will probably pick them up to watch a bit more regularly.  I plan to watch the Christmas DVD tonight.

Thank you for the pleasure you still bring to me, Celtic Thunder.

Carol Stepp, Austin, TX

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Thoughts on the way people think


I use Facebook.  I like Facebook.  I have many friends on Facebook.  It is my social life these days.  Why?  Because it allows me to reach people who I would never ever know in my day-to-day life.  Yes, I send pictures of kittens.  I like pictures of kittens.  But it has also enabled me to meet children and grandchildren and family I might never have known otherwise.

I use Facebook for political reasons.  These days it is about the only way I can do politics since my knees won’t allow for me to go out and knock on doors, travel to rallies, or get out and debate political issues.

So let me make some things clear.  I can read.  I can think intelligently.  I know what I believe and why I believe it.  I am not a rumour-monger, nor will I tell a lie just to make someone look bad.  Frankly, I think most people are completely able to make themselves look bad these days.

So this blog goes automatically to Facebook, every time I write something.  Therefore:  when I share a notice that the Republicans have introduced a resolution to keep single women out of the workplace, understand that I know it has not been passed, and it doesn’t stand a chance of becoming a law.  It has only a 2% chance of passing.  But I think you need to know that such a resolution has been introduced.  My Facebook page is public, so it reaches a lot of people.  I actually had one person think she had to make it clear to me that it hadn’t passed.  I know that.  I can read.  But it is information you need to know.

When I read that Jeb Bush wants to faze out Medicare, I understand that he is speaking about it.  I even made sure I had the reference that he actually said such a thing before I made a comment about it.  Jeb Bush probably lost the election when he said that.  I even read his comments about how people already on it would not lose it, but he wanted people younger than 54 to not have to pay in so he could give them something.  Well hooray for him.  But I will tell you that after working for 47 years in the workplace, having had work insurance for most of those years (not all, some employers did not provide it), reaching 65 and getting Medicare has given me the best insurance I have ever had.  It costs me nothing, and I am able to get all my medical care and tests and such without paying a thing (I agree, there are co-pays, but my situation is that I live below the poverty level with my social security, so I have Medicaid backup, which pretty much pays my premiums).  My Medicare is handled under United Health Care, and they cover everything.  I even have $1000 a year dental, which pays for extractions.  It does not cover dentures.

And you could have all had it too, if you had understood that the single payer under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) would have been Medicare, if everyone hadn’t got all excited about it being brought by President Barack Obama.  Just because he is a half-black man, claims his black heritage, some of you couldn’t get beyond that to take time to understand the bill.  So you supported the Republican lies, paid for by the pharmas (and the Koch Brothers), and lost the chance to get the best kind of medical care available to Americans.  Single-payer works, but you didn’t give it a chance.  Which gives you Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush wanting to get rid of it altogether.

Free education?  Oh, that is a dirty word, is it?  So you prefer to go out and get student loans, which you will never pay off in your lifetime, when if you paid attention, you could completely avoid.  But no, that is a bad thing, and I bet you cannot even tell me why.  Look at Europe, China, India – they all have education for all, free in almost every case, and the students there win all the prizes and education bees, and you don’t like that.  You say the Americans should win every thing because we are the “greatest” country.  We are in no way the greatest country on this earth any longer.  Why?  Because greed and lies tell you so every day of the week.  It just takes a little thought, and a fair group of government, to make the American dream come true.  Go back in history and look at the years just after World War II (but please, while you do that, also understand how black people were treated then, and don’t repeat it).  The Civil Rights Act of 1967 gave them equal rights.  And justly so – they are PEOPLE.

Did you know that during the first 204 days of this year there were 204 gun massacres (not just individual shootings, shootings where some gung-ho idiot decided to take out as many humans as s/he possibly could), though I admit I don’t think I know of any female shooters in massacres – but this is an equal opportunity country.  Right?

Why are you afraid to live without your guns, unless, of course, you are a hunter.  Well, I have friends who are hunters, and although I personally don’t like hunting, I can imagine a day might come when I would have to become a hunter myself – like if we got hit with an EMP, or computer-terrorists, and all electricity went away.  But at least these hunter friends are not going to go out and take down a school, or a movie theatre.

I probably wouldn’t argue about massacres if only those who like to massacre people would fight among themselves, and kill themselves.  That would get them off the face of the earth.  I smile every time I read about a terrorist who accidentally killed him/herself.  Karma!!!!

Religious persecution:  well, that is so wrong that I can’t even come up with enough thought and words to discuss all the cons about it.  This country was founded by people trying to escape religious persecution, and that goes on today in many countries – mostly Islamic, I think, though there are places that still try to keep all religion out of them.  However, it dismays me that we have people in the USA who would turn around and try to persecute our own because they want a national religion, and we don’t need one.  Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion.  No human has the right to tell another how to live.  The only time we have the right to say anything to anyone about how they live is if they are breaking a law, and even I agree that smoking marijuana should not be illegal.

I am tolerant of a lot of things, but I will not abide a person who tries to tell me what I should think, and abuse me if it isn’t how s/he thinks.  I am compassionate, caring, helpful – even if I am not a Christian.

I don’t believe everyone has to believe in abortion.  I don’t like abortion personally, but I am pro-choice.  These days, though, pro-lifers are just yelling about others not choosing abortion, yet they are not at all interested in providing help for children being born in bad situations.  Heck, there are even laws in 28 states where it is forbidden to feed the homeless.  If we can’t take care of our older children and adults who have fallen on hard times (quite often the fault of a great number of us), why do we think they are going to help the children.

I am feeling sorry, these days, for anyone born from 1970 onward.  You have not had a chance to see the greatness this country once had.  The worst mistakes began with Reagan in 1980, and we have gone downhill from that time.  Really.  I had asked, and with help, come to the conclusion that it all started with Reagonomics.  We all voted for that man of great popularity; and what a mistake it turned out to be.  So some of you have never had a chance to understand our years from World War II, and the great things done by Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, early Nixon, Carter.  Sure, there were problems, but they were not aimed at America’s own people by Americans in those days.  We tried with Clinton, after Reagan and Bush I, but then we fell back on that good-old-boy mentality with George Bush II.  What a disaster he brought upon us.  And many of us have tended to blame him for all our ills.  Really, though, it started with Reagan, whom I voted for twice.

I guess if Obama were not a black man, this country would be seen as going back to those better days economically, and even in peace, but we are caught in a mire of trying to get back to being great mixed in by pure, plain old prejudice against a man of a different colour.  I’m afraid black is still not a popular colour, except among fashionistas, and some just seem to prefer orange (the colour of John Boehner).  I truly wish younger people would drop the biases and teachings of their parents and grandparents and reach out for making their own decisions.  Is it too much to ask that you study our history?

Think about it.

Carol Stepp, Austin TX

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Royal Pains 2015


OK, I cannot really say too much about the new season after just one episode. Nor can I make any predictions. Actually, in the past, when I tried to make predictions about any television show (including Lost), I would discover that 99 times out of 100 I was completely wrong.

So here are my thoughts about where this new season might go, after just one episode:

Paige and Evan got a false pregnancy alarm (though I could not figure out how taking three tests with positive results could turn out so wrong). It made them realize, though, that they both want a baby. So, are we going to have a baby this season, or is one of them going to discover they cannot conceive/make a baby.

Is Divya going to lose her child, or will she marry Raj and keep it? Or marry someone else? Are we going to see next week the injured fellow turn up two blocks away, and the ambulance will discover him? Or will it all happen where nobody gets the proof of what Divya was telling the police? Also, I am having trouble believing the police would just arrest her and take her child away without listening to her. I mean surely she carries some proof of her helping the skateboarder – used bandages or something.

Is Boris really going to sell the hospital out to the Chinese? Why would the Chinese want a small hospital in the Hamptons. Was the listing of the cast that included Jill Flint on the FB page, an old posting not brought up to date, or is Jill coming back to save the day? And what will that do for Hank’s love life?

Is the 52 Party lady going to be an on-going character, and are we going to see a lot more about Parkinson’s, or will she just disappear from the storyline?

An interesting beginning to a new season, full of possible story-lines, but no clue as to where it is going to take us this year. Also, I do not know if this is the last season, or if there is one more after this. I’ve seen both in comments on their FB page.

What do you think?

Carol Stepp
Austin, TX

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Time Warner Cable afterword


I have made a deal with TWC. It made me step back a bit, and perhaps not so pleased because so far as I can tell, helps only me, but I have had some fellow residents not so happy I brought the subject up.

So I am getting my box, and have signed up as a customer, but promised no credit check will be done, and I will get five years free service (once I fill out the paperwork about the Medicaid that backs up my Medicare). I told the woman I spoke to that as soon as I get my box up and running (and getting the channels I should be getting), I will notify the Federal Trade Commission that I withdraw my complaint.

Not my first choice, but probably my best choice.

Just letting you all know.

Carol Stepp
Austin, TX

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Middle Aged Christian White Men, and their Women


Reblogged this on carolstepphttps://carolstepp.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/middle-aged-angry-white-men-2/ and commented:

This blog seems to be getting a lot of new readings lately, so I thought I would reblog it and add some thoughts. Because there is so much idiocy coming along with it now. The things men are trying to tell us about how women’s inner workings are, replacing hymens, swallowing cameras in the hope they will go into our wombs and take pictures, wondering why a woman does not have to have a DNA test to prove a baby is hers, the body being able to ignore rape and not get pregnant because of it.

And women are falling in with these men and saying lots of crazy things about women being subject to the men. And men saying women wouldn’t have so many problems with wages if they would just find a husband. Hey, fellows, I had two, and they did nothing for me, not even when I had a couple of children. Oh yeah, got tired of their cheating on me as well.

And now these middle aged angry white men are trying to shove their own religious beliefs on the rest of us. The women are quite as bad. So here is what is going to happen, unless we stop what is happening. These Republican conservative talichristians are going to maybe get close to their wishes of dominionism. When, or if, that happens, we are going to have Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Church of Christ, Seventh Day Adventists (hey, there is the answer to the insurance problem), Mormons, Pentecostals, Lutherans, Episcopalians, etc. etc. etc., and not leaving out the Catholic church, all arguing about which denomination should have the power. So here is my answer to solving this.

Get your own Civil War (there is that oxymoron again) going, you who somehow think guns and religion work well together, and start shooting one another. Get all the gun-toters involved, and have a real shoot-out. I, along with my friends who think this is utterly ridiculous, will step back into a safe place. Then when you have all killed one another off, we sane and compassionate folks will come out and take this country back to the glorious place it was intended to be.

Waiting for your rapture? I hope it comes soon so you call all rise up into the sky and leave us who are sane to fix the earth. Including saving it from the trash most of you have made out of it.

added this 24th day of April 2015.

All of my posts are eligible for copying and posting, as long as words are not changed, and I am given credit.

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Middle-Aged Angry White Men


carolstepp:

This blog seems to be getting a lot of new readings lately, so I thought I would reblog it and add some thoughts. Because there is so much idiocy coming along with it now. The things men are trying to tell us about how women’s inner workings are, replacing hymens, swallowing cameras in the hope they will go into our wombs and take pictures, wondering why a woman does not have to have a DNA test to prove a baby is hers, the body being able to ignore rape and not get pregnant because of it.

And women are falling in with these men and saying lots of crazy things about women being subject to the men. And men saying women wouldn’t have so many problems with wages if they would just find a husband. Hey, fellows, I had two, and they did nothing for me, not even when I had a couple of children. Oh yeah, got tired of their cheating on me as well.

And now these middle aged angry white men are trying to shove their own religious beliefs on the rest of us. The women are quite as bad. So here is what is going to happen, unless we stop what is happening. These Republican conservative talichristians are going to maybe get close to their wishes of dominionism. When, or if, that happens, we are going to have Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Church of Christ, Seventh Day Adventists (hey, there is the answer to the insurance problem), Mormons, Pentecostals, Lutherans, Episcopalians, etc. etc. etc., and not leaving out the Catholic church, all arguing about which denomination should have the power. So here is my answer to solving this.

Get your own Civil War (there is that oxymoron again) going, you who somehow think guns and religion work well together, and start shooting one another. Get all the gun-toters involved, and have a real shoot-out. I, along with my friends who think this is utterly ridiculous, will step back into a safe place. Then when you have all killed one another off, we sane and compassionate folks will come out and take this country back to the glorious place it was intended to be.

Waiting for your rapture? I hope it comes soon so you call all rise up into the sky and leave us who are sane to fix the earth. Including saving it from the trash most of you have made out of it.

added this 24th day of April 2015.

All of my posts are eligible for copying and posting, as long as words are not changed, and I am given credit.

Originally posted on carolstepp:

You know, we live in a world of chaos, with people running around trying to frighten us out of our lives, and gun lovers wanting unrestricted use of all kinds of machines used specifically to kill people, and men and women beating on one another, and anger everywhere, as groups of people try to make everyone else to love the values they , want.

This causes a lot of turmoil in everyone’s life, and hatred stress and just plain old anger. And the angriest of all are the middle-aged white men.

There is a reason for this. For centuries, men have had the most power. In ancient times, women had equal power, in the home, in battle, in owning land. Then men in early Medieval times started putting women in lower classes, imprisoning them in the homes, taking care of the cooking, cleaning, and children. This lasted for many years…

View original 889 more words

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