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Author Archives: mtc9393
America is a Christian nation. We number about 80% of the population. Yet you would never know it.
An article today in the Washington Post is titled: Christianity in Iraq is Finished. Before we invaded Iraq there were more than a million Christians living peacefully in that country. Now the number is down to at best 200,000. Once we unleashed our dogs of war in part to save the people of Iraq from the horrors inflicted on them by Dictator Saddam Hussein, as President George W. Bush told us, we cracked the shell of a civil society and loosed the tethers restraining evil and the bigoted brutes became emboldened and slaughtered those who held different beliefs.
CNN’s presentation of “Whitey – United States v. James J. Bulger” ran for two hours last night. For those who know nothing or a little bit about Whitey it gave them a decent glimpse into his life; for those who have been following the saga closely it offered a few tidbits that made the ordeal of sitting through the commercials somewhat bearable.
I was put off by the way it presented the Department of Justice (DOJ). The thrust was that there is something deeply wrong in it. The proofs offered were the actions of the FBI agents and not that of the DOJ attorneys. I know the FBI is part of the DOJ. But it operates independently in investigating matters and dealing with informants. What it did with respect to Whitey the DOJ had little knowledge about. The show blurred that distinction.
It was a big laugh-in early in December of last year when the Florida prosecutor announced he was not going to bring the case involving rape allegations against Florida State University (FSU) quarterback Jameis Winston to a grand jury. Everyone was relieved. They knew the sports writers were unconcerned with off the field conduct. They would cast their votes for Winston honoring him with the Heisman Trophy. They rather should have put a blue ribbon around his neck like they do at state fairs.
Winston had been accused of raping a woman. The evidence was pretty solid. The woman reported being raped shortly after it happened. She didn’t know who did it or where it happened having met the man at a bar. Bruises were appearing on her body and semen was found. The cops did nothing since they had nothing to go on.
Tonight I’m told the CNN network will present a program at 9:00 PM for an hour or two about James “Whitey” Bulger. I hope to watch it. I don’t expect to learn anything from it because there’s nothing new to find out. But I will watch it and let you know what I think of it.
If you’ve read any of my recent posts you know that much about Whitey has been made up out of thin air. One book Black Mass started it and the others dutifully copied parts of that book. The original book was all over the place making up conversations and putting them in quotations as if the authors had a transcript of them. I always thought that was all right for fiction but in a book that is supposed to be non-fiction it doesn’t really fit. As I learned more and more about this subject I realized Black Mass should have been published as fiction.
Two articles I read in the news yesterday that are seemingly unrelated came together in my mind. The first was by Tom Keane in The Boston Globe about the rancor between our political parties. He noted it wasn’t something new and talked about the pre-Civil War days when the members of Congress had difficulty restraining their open hatred for each other.
Keane pointed out appropriately that issue facing the nation back then was a monumental one: slavery. It was one that struck to the core of what our nation was about. There could be no compromise, tempers flared, physical violence awaited the misspoken word, swords would eventually be drawn and a bloody war would follow.
Keane’s point is that nothing like that great issue exists today. The problems that do exist are such that people interested in our country’s future should be able to work together and find compromise. The bitterness between the parties is not justified by events which we are facing.
The headline on boston.com today is: “”Pussy Riot Storms Cambridge Police Department Headquarters After Supporter Arrested”
It was also covered in the other Globe site. It was the second item that came up on the first page of its on-line edition. I write about it to show how the media invents the news by making a non-news event into something.
A guy named Roman Torgovitsky, 38, was arrested for trespassing by the Harvard police. He had been barred from the Harvard campus for having disrupted a concert. He was brought to the Cambridge police station, was booked and released a little over an hour later when he posted $40 bail.
The Globe article told us: “Members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot and their supporters massed at the Cambridge police station after a Harvard speaking engagement Monday night in an attempt to free an arrested protester.” Wow, it must have been quite a gathering.
I’m back from my sabbatical from the internet. I spent the last few days in upstate New York out of its reach doing the harvesting of the crops from my wife’s garden which is at her nieces’ house. I went back to my roots digging up row after row of potatoes and carrots. It’s not easy on the back but I think every Irish person should have a familiarity with the land.
Scarlett O’Hara’s father Gerald put it best: “And, to anyone with a drop of Irish blood in them – why, the land they live on is like their mother.” Turning the land over and discovering the life-sustaining potatoes hiding under it is more real to me than most other things. My grandson said: “Grandpa, when you’re hands are dirty, you know your having fun.” From the mouths of babes come the basic truths.
I’m bothered by domestic violence. I don’t see how a man can assault a woman. I understand the frustrations and ire that can occur between couples but for a man to let it go beyond harsh words into a physical assault is something I can’t grasp. Unfortunately, it happens more than I care to think about. Usually the starter to such a happening is alcohol or some other substance that changes a person’s ability to exercise self-control.
That domestic violence happens at all is something that should concern us. What bothered me most about Ray Rice’s horrible assault on his fiancée Janay is how it has been handled by the media. Out of the blue the media flipped out over it. The commonplace was made into something esoteric, the mundane magnified to something extraordinary. His assault gave the media a “gang-up” time when all take their shot, nary a dissenting word is heard discouraging the mad rush, all the running together feels good, and then everything goes on as before except for the person, or persons, trampled under.
Here’s a major problem in telling Whitey’s story. Gangsters lie. Gangsters in a jam tell big lies. FBI agents, prosecutors and authors believe the lies because that is what they want to hear. They don’t pause to examine them closely. Authors are the worst, because once one writes the lie as being true others pass it on without any critical thinking. The seminal book on the Whitey saga, Black Mass, set the stage for a ton of misinformation. Here’s an example.
In Back Mass (page139 to 143) pubished in 2000 the authors wrote that John Callahan, at a meeting at his apartment with Brian Halloran, Whitey Bulger, and Stevie Flemmi, “got right to the heart of the matter. He said a serious problem had come up at the World Jail Alai company in the form of a new owner . . . Roger Wheeler. The hard-driving CEO . . . “had discovered something was not right “. Wheeler, he said, had figured out someone was skimming one million dollars a year from the overflowing company coffers.” He was going to replace the top financial officers, conduct an audit, and Callahan might end up in jai.”
Anyone who has read any of the authors professing to know something about the Whitey case have noticed they write about H. Paul Rico who they call a corrupt former FBI agent who was indicted in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the murder of the owner of World Jai Alai, Roger Wheeler. Rico’s is implicated in his 1981 murder by John Martorano who admitted he went there to murder him at the request of his friend John Callahan.
Paul Rico was a long time FBI agent who spent most of his career in the Boston office, moved to the Miami office in 1970, and retired in 1975. He married a woman he met while young, remained married to her all his life and brought up five children who went on to successful careers.