Category Archives: National

The Rochester Connection in the JFK Cover-up

Based on the title of this piece,  I am sure that at least half of those who encounter it have already skipped past to read something else. There is a great deal of psychological resistance to the fact (not a theory) that JFK was shot by more than one gun (at least one of which was in front of him) and that there was a massive government cover-up to hide that fact.

If you are still here, congratulations you must at least have an open mind! I can’t really blame those who do not understand this. After all, a large part of the cover-up has been an orchestrated attempt to sell the fake Lone Gunman story in the major media that have been controlled by CIA for at least the last 50 years and which continues to this day. (See Operation Mockingbird.)

Also making it difficult to know what really happened is the fact that so much of the government files in the case were locked up for long periods and some remain classified to this day. This is not even including the many files that were no doubt destroyed and will never see the light of day!

Over recent years, however, as more documents have been released and as more and more researchers have pored over the evidence and  compared notes, a consensus of the truth has begun to emerge. I don’t know who shot John (for a list of suspects,  see my column from last November) or who gave the order, but it is becoming increasingly clear that officials at the highest levels of government led the effort to cover the tracks of the assassins.

Which brings us to the famous Zapruder film and Rochester’s role in it’s editing. For what follows I am mainly summarizing the conclusions of Doug Horne who’s 5-volume series of books “Inside the Assassination Records Review Board” (on which he served)  is  a classic of detailed analysis. No I have not read the entire 5 volumes, however, a good summary can be found in 5 online videos published by the Future of Freedom Foundation.

While a large part of those volumes and videos deal with the fraudulent military autopsy conducted at Bethesda Naval Hospital, the curious case of the altered Zapruder film is summarized in another of his online videos entitled. “The Zapruder Film Mystery.”

It appears that contrary to the cover story that has been clung to for almost 51 years  there was an original version of the Z-film that was heavily edited to remove a large amount of “inconvenient” evidence of a conspiracy. This included a much larger explosion of JFK’s head that went on for many frames (not the one frame that survives in the altered version) which showed large amounts of brain material ejected from the back of Kennedy’s head.

In the original version seen by technicians of the National Photo Interpretation Center in Washington, D.C. on the night of Saturday, Nov. 23, 1963, there was also evidence of the limousine slowing to a near stop before the fatal head shot. This confirms the impression of dozens of eyewitnesses that day who reported that the motorcade had come to a virtual stop.

Dino Brugioni, who was a high official at NPIC and who’s honesty is beyond reproach,  testifies to this and a great deal more on the video. He led the three person crew that worked with the original film that night. Apparently for many years he was unaware that a second crew was called in Sunday night to work on a new altered version of the film.

The agent who brought the second film to NPIC  Secret Service agent “John Smith” reported that he had just come from Rochester, NY where the film had been developed at the Hawkeye Plant at Eastman Kodak. The CIA had a very close connection with Kodak and had a classified section of the plant where top secret work was done.

Interestingly the copy he delivered Sunday was a 16 mm two-sided version, although the film worked on the night before had already been slit into a 8 mm version when it was developed in Dallas on Friday afternoon. It is surmised that the original was sent to Rochester on Sunday morning where editing was done at the then state-of-the-art equipment at  Hawkeye during the day Sunday before being returned to NPIC Sunday night. Leaving it in 16 mm format was an apparent attempt to convince the Sunday technicians (who were sworn to total secrecy) that they were working on the camera-original film.

Further evidence that the film was altered has been found by using modern image analysis software to study the official version frame by frame. A group in Hollywood that has done that has found very strong evidence of crude alteration including an attempt to black out the gaping exit hole in the rear of Kennedy’s head and even paint on an alternate (and non-existent) exit wound at the top of JFK’s head.

This was obviously necessary to sell the Lone Nut shooting from the rear scenario and it was therefore also necessary to falsify the autopsy (and perhaps conduct secret surgery) to make Kennedy’s wounds correspond to the official story.

Whether the people who covered everything up are the same people who carried out the assassination is an interesting question. I suppose that theoretically they could be acting independently, however, the speed and precision with which the cover-up was carried out argues for a larger conspiracy.

If you have read this far, you either think that I must be wearing a tin foil hat or you may be intrigued. In either case, I urge you not to take my word for anything, but  to watch the video and read into the case a little more.

For the reasons why Kennedy was killed the best place to start is the book “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why he died and why it matters.” by James Douglas. I happen to know that at least one copy is on sale at Sundance Book Store in Geneseo and if that is sold, I am sure owner Fred Mingrino would be happy to order you another! Even 51 years later, it does matter. The truth will out!

50 years later

I was 12 years old when JFK was shot down and was watching on live TV when Lee Harvey Oswald was silenced 50 years ago today. In my teens I remember reading some of the early books that questioned the conclusions of the Warren Commission such as “Rush to Judgement” by Mark Lane, “Inquest” by  Edward Jay Epstein and “Whitewash” by Harold Weisberg. I guess I’ve been a “conspiracy theorist” ever since.

I manage to keep my obsession with the case under control for most of the year, but every November I am drawn back to re-visit the issue like a moth to a flame. This year being the 50th Anniversary of those events has been even more intense. Although most of my reading and viewing has been on the Internet, I have also purchased and read Mark Lane’s “Last Word: My indictment of the CIA in the Murder of JFK” and am part way through James Douglass’s “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why he died and why it matters.”

If you watch or read any of the Main Stream Media (including Fox), you will notice that the theory that Oswald was the lone shooter is now presented as unquestioned fact. I even heard a Fox News reporter say the other night that, “No serious historian questions that Oswald acted alone.” Oh really?

I guess that could be true, but only in the sense that it is said that “History is written by the victors,” although perhaps William F. Buckley version that, “History is the polemics of the victors” is more apt. So who were the victors? Or as they said in Rome, Cui Bono?

A short list of those who benefited from the elimination of our 35th President would include our 36th President who was facing political and legal extinction because of the Bobby Baker & Billy Sol Estes scandals, the CIA which Kennedy had threatened to splinter into 1,000 pieces after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, the Military Industrial Complex who got their War in Vietnam which Kennedy was backing away from, the Texan Oil Men who got to keep their Oil Depletion Allowance that JFK was trying to take away, the Federal Reserve bankers who Kennedy was trying to push out of the currency business, the Mafia who had been double crossed and attacked by Attorney General Bobby Kennedy after they had helped his brother steal the 1960 election, Israel which got its atomic bomb that JFK was blocking, Republicans such as Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush all of whom got to be President after the premature end of the Kennedy dynasty, and you can even throw in the racists who were opposed to Kennedy’s support for the civil rights movement, although that didn’t work out so great for them when LBJ pushed through the Civil Rights Act.

With the list of enemies that JFK and Bobby had managed to accumulate in just three years in office, the question is more who didn’t have a motive to kill him! On the top of that list I would put Castro and Khrushchev. As shown in many “serious” histories, Kennedy had opened back channel negotiations with both of them to try to defuse Cold War tensions. They had no reason to think that whoever followed Kennedy would be an improvement.

The fear that Russia or Cuba might be involved, however, was used as a very effective bludgeon to keep the Warren Commission and other investigators from straying too far from the “lone nut” official line. LBJ used it to get a reluctant Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren to accept the job as head of the Whitewash, by telling him that if he did not shut down the conspiracy talk it could lead to a nuclear war with at least 40 million American deaths.

Whether Oswald was a patsy who was deliberately “sheep dipped” to be fitted for the role or just an unlucky loser who was in the wrong place at the wrong time is an interesting question. What seems clear from the physical evidence is that he did not kill JFK from the 6th floor window of TSBD with an antique bolt-action Italian rifle with a misfitted scope

When it comes to the testimony of the eyewitnesses, the photographic evidence, the physical wounds and the obviously botched (or intentionally faked) autopsy, the Warren Commission and its followers seem to be saying, “Who are you going to believe, us or your lying eyes?”

I have no special theory of where the gunmen were, but it is clear that Kennedy was hit by at least four bullets, two from the front and two from the back, with Connally taking at least two more. Adding a few known misses and the total shots are anywhere from 8-12, which would indicate at least 3 or 4 gunmen.

The other night I read through the entire official Warren Commission biography of Oswald. If you didn’t know better you could almost believe it made sense. Unfortunately more recent scholarship has shown that all evidence of Oswald’s ample involvement with American Intelligence and law enforcement agencies including the Office of Naval Intelligence, the CIA and the FBI was withheld from the Commission or deliberately left out. The same is true of Jack Ruby’s mob connections, but that’s another column!

In particular Oswald’s activities promoting the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans during the summer of 1963 and his alleged trip to Mexico City in September of that year look especially suspect. It seems clear that he was taking orders from somebody in an attempt to either infiltrate or more likely discredit the pro-Castro Cubans. That he was also conveniently being set up to look like a likely suspect in the future assassination of the President probably did not occur to him until it was too late. If that is true, Oswald looks more like a hero than a villain.

I say “alleged” trip to Mexico City because it is not clear if he was ever really there. What is clear, however, is that someone who was not Oswald contacted the Russian Embassy by phone around that time giving his name as “Lee Oswald.” If you find out who set up that cute operation, you probably have the smoking gun to the whole conspiracy and cover-up plot. (See Peter Dale Scott’s “Deep Politics I, II & III for details.”)

Regardless of who actually was the creative genius behind the operation, the true scandal is how the American Press was convinced to swallow the official line. A study of how this was done would reveal the vast reach of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird, in buying off, controlling and manipulating the Main Stream press and the publishing industry, something that even now is apparently a little too close for comfort.

Despite the success of that on-going campaign, however, a recent Washington Post/ ABC poll showed that Americans still doubt the Warren Commission conclusions by a better than two-one margin (62-29 with 8 per cent having no opinion!). I suppose they can take some comfort that the doubters have fallen from a high of 82 per cent in the 1980s.

Looking at the poll’s internals, it appears that the doubters are distributed fairly equally among all segments of society, young and old, men and women, even liberal and conservative. although naturally, conservatives are a little more skeptical of anything issuing from the federal government.

Despite that, however, there seems to be a disturbing recent trend among some Conservative bloggers to want to accept the Warren Commission theory, especially because they can use it to claim that Oswald was really a Leftist. In my opinion, it is dangerous to twist the facts of history to use as ammunition in today’s political wars. As House Special Assassination Committee Deputy Counsel Bob Tanenbaum said, “There is no Democrat or Republican way to evaluate evidence. You can’t compromise on truth.”

Too bad Tanenbaum and his boss Richard Sprague were forced off the investigation by politics when they were getting too close to the truth. They say the truth will make you free, but in this case it seemed to also make a lot of people dead, including many of those who were about to talk to investigators.

Dead might also be a good description of our democratic system which has never really recovered from the events in Dallas 50 years ago this week.

FOPs for Newt

I am hereby founding a new political group called FOPs for Newt. The acronym stands for Fat Old Philanderers. Believe me, I am well-qualified to be a member of this group: I have weighed north of 250 pounds for most of my adult life, I am now over 60 years old, and about the philandering, well the less said about that the better, but let’s just say I would not be qualified to cast the first stone.

I am speaking out now because I feel that there is a lot of subtle and (not so subtle) prejudice against Newt because of these three traits that he shares with so many of his would-be constituents. Let’s take these one at a time:

Fat: I don’t exactly know how much Newt weighs but I’m pretty sure it is less than Pres. William Taft who reportedly tipped the scales at over 300 pounds. Does anyone seriously think that in this age of televised political beauty contests, that a fat man (even Chris Christie) could ever again be elected President?

If you read any of the comments posted online after any article about Newt it won’t be very long before the words “fat slob” are flung as if that ended the debate. As a fat slob myself I highly resent that.

As Henry Miller pointed out years ago, fat men may be fat in body but they are usually anything but fat heads. As he observed in his novel Sexus (don’t even go there!), “Fat men were often most dynamic, most engaging, most charming and seductive. Their laziness and slovenliness were deceptive. In the brain they often carried a diamond.”

Any fair observer of this year’s Republican debates must have come to the same conclusion. Newt mind has run circles around the competition! Do we want a truly smart president or simply one who can look pretty reading a teleprompter?Don’t answer that!

Age: At Age 68, Newt is getting toward the far end of the traditional Presidential range. Of course Ron Paul is 75, but nobody (not even Ron Paul) really believes that he can be elected.

On the other hand, if elected, Newt would be a few months younger than Ronald Reagan was when he won his first term and he didn’t do too badly! It’s also important to remember that improvements in health have extended the lifespan of almost all Americans, so that 70 is looking more and more like the new 60 or less! (BTW over our long history the median age for a first term President at election is about 55. You could look it up!)

As Newt could say in any debate with Pres. Obama, “I’m not going to make an issue of my opponent’s youth and inexperience!”

Philandering: This is a tough one, but I have to say that it is not even clear that Newt meets the strict definition here. According to the free online dictionary,” A Philanderer is one who carries on a sexual affair, especially an extramarital affair, with a woman one cannot or does not intend to marry.” (emphasis added).

According to everything that has been reported, Newt did carry on affairs during his first two marriages, but he ended up marrying both of the women! This is not so much philandering as it is premature serial monogamy.

OK, I admit adulterers are never going to win that argument, but if adultery were a disqualification for high office, our nation would have been much the poorer for it. It is not necessary to pick on recent Democrats by recounting the sleazy sexual habits of President Bill “Alley Cat” Clinton or John “The Fornicator” Kennedy.

We can go all the way back to our Founding Fathers and discover that Ben Franklin and Alexander Hamilton (and maybe even Thomas Jefferson) were not immune from such foibles and they all got their pictures on our currency!

Although, fortunately the press in prior times was more circumspect, it is pretty much accepted that such otherwise great Presidents as FDR and Dwight Eisenhower strayed from the marital bed, although at least Ike had the excuse that there was a war on.

And as for divorce, I thought we laid that one to rest when we elected the Gipper! Case closed!

So, in conclusion, if you don’t like Newt’s ideas or policies then don’t vote for him. But if all you can bring to the conversation is stupid prejudice and a holier then thou attitude than please spare us the hypocrisy!

The FOPs for Newt is not authorized or paid for by any political committee, although I would be happy to accept donations!

Hudson River Schoolin’

I took a day off from watching the soil dry to take a tour of the historic Hudson Valley Tuesday. I was assigned to northern Duchess County as part of the “Ballot Security” legal team for Assembly Minority leader Jim Tedisco’s attempt to take back what should be a rock-ribbed Republican congressional district in a Special Election.

After counting over 150,000 votes Tuesday night, the margin between the candidates was only 65 votes with as many as 10,000 absentee, military and provisional ballots yet to be counted, so this one is truly too close to call! In such a close race, it would be nice to feel that I had an impact, but the truth is I had absolutely none.

Our job was to drive around to about 20 polling places and show the Republican flag, but there was really no concern of voter fraud in any of these districts. They were for the most part rural and small town areas much like Livingston County with a few of the tonier suburbs of Poughkeepsie thrown in. Towns like Redhook, Rhineback and Hyde Park comprise the southern tip of the sprawling 20th Congressional seat formerly occupied by our new Senator Kirstin Gillibrand

This district overall is reported to be the most Republican by registration in the state, so hopes were high for a Republican victory. Northern Duchess County sure looked like Republican territory to me, so I was shocked when the results showed that the Democrat had won the portions of the county that are in the 20th by over 1,000 votes! Of course that does include wildly liberal Bard College!

Politics aside, it was a beautiful sunny day and the landscape around the Hudson River was breathtaking. Despite development pressure from people fleeing NYC after 9/11, local planners and conservancies have done a good job preserving open space and the historic ambiance of the area.

Since we were really not needed at the polls, (other than to provide comic relief for bored poll watchers), my NYC lawyer partner and I took time off to walk around the grounds of the FDR estate in Hyde Park. Although not as big or impressive (or even as well-maintained) as certain homes in Geneseo, it does explain why many people felt that Roosevelt was a “traitor to his class.” He obviously led a very sheltered life growing up surrounded by servants in this elegant country retreat.

We listened in as a National Park Service tour guide recounted how the national media of that day had conspired to keep FDR’s polio-caused paralysis out of the press because “they liked his policies.” Without a hint of irony, he assured the listeners that such a thing could never happen today! Right!

As a rock-ribbed Republican myself, I would like to be optimistic over the party’s future. The sad truth, however, is that if we can not run away with the most Republican district in the state under a Socialist President and a corrupt Democrat Congress, then it may be time to put us in a museum as well!

Into the Heartland

Having grown up on the East Coast, I never thought too much about Ohio. It was just another of those big Midwestern farm states that you have to drive through to get across the country.

Even after living in western New York for 30 years I still didn’t think much about Ohio except to wonder why some people would drive all the way out to Cleveland to see a football game. All that changed two years ago when my son decided to go to college at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.

In the past two years I’ve been to Ohio 8 times: Two college tours, four sporting events, once as an election volunteer for John McCain, and one camping trip. Along the way, I’ve developed a deeper appreciation for a state that is truly a microcosm of America. It’s not for nothing that two of the last three national elections have been decided in Ohio.

This past weekend’s four day trip to Ohio, was part pleasure and part business. For the pleasure part, my son and I attended the first two rounds of the NCAA March Madness in Dayton. That was a total of 6 mostly great basketball games played on Friday and Sunday, including the early-Saturday-morning, double-overtime victory of little Siena College over giant Ohio State, much to the chagrin of Buckeye fans.

On the off day, Saturday, I took care of my business by traveling about 100 miles north of Springfield to pick up a piece of farm equipment from the Buckeye Tractor Co. in tiny Columbus Grove, Ohio. The piece I was after is a bed shaper which I hope will make my somewhat heavy and damp soils here on the home farm more manageable.

Bed shapers are a very specialized piece of equipment that vegetable and flower growers use, and they are hard to find hereabouts. It was only because of Buckeye Tractor’s excellent web site that I discovered their line of tools. I was impressed by the thoroughness and the quality of the writing on the site which was a big cut above what you normally find.

My first phone conversation with owner Lynn Graham left me with the feeling that I would be dealing with a business I could trust, and I was probably most impressed when he told me that my out-of-state personal check would be just fine for me to pick up and cart off a $2,000 machine. There aren’t many who still do business like that!

Since I was in no particular hurry Saturday, I got off the Interstates and took a leisurely route through the small towns and countryside of north central Ohio. The area looks a lot like western New York except flatter and it has (or had) a lot more manufacturing. Every little burg seemed to have a little industrial park on one or both ends of town, although a lot of the businesses were closed.

Accordingly, the once proud small towns themselves were suffering as well. There were many vacant storefronts on Main Streets, many houses for sale, and most of the homes looked like they hadn’t seen a fresh coat of paint in over 20 years.

A great part of this is no doubt due to the area’s dependence on the automotive industry. When we think autos we usually think just about Detroit and Michigan, but as shown on this map, the real rust belt actually takes in a large swath of northern Ohio and Indiana as well. Hint: To really see this, click on the filter on the left side of the map that shows manufacturing centers. (Shoutout: Thanks to my FB Buddy Ben DeGeorge for the link!)

Despite all the doom and gloom in the auto industry, however, business is booming at the Buckeye Tractor Co. The growing Back to the Land for local food movement is helping a lot. From the professional look of the web site, you might expect to find a bustling corporate factory with hundreds of workers, but in fact, Buckeye is a small family operation based on a farm with only about a dozen employees.

Being a quiet Saturday, I had the pleasure of spending some time with the owner in a far-ranging conversation on the state of the world. Four hours later I realized that I better get the implement loaded and head back to Springfield or I would miss buying dinner for my son and his college friends. Without that obligation, I probably could have talked another four hours!

Over dinner, I told some of the Ohio kids about my growing respect for the Heartland. In the Heartland you can still feel the greatness of America. And Ohio, more than any other state, except possibly Texas, seems like a country of its own.

From it’s sprawling farms to the gleaming office parks and commercial palaces that line the Beltways around Cleveland, the state seems to have everything. But most importantly, it still has the entrepreneurial spirit of the people of little Buckeye Tractor Co. figuring out how to make a product right here in America, good enough and priced right so that somebody would drive across two states to get it and leave happy!

There is still hope in America, but it’s not coming out of Washington, D.C..

Shock and awe

I took a week off from my column last week for a couple reasons. Yes, it’s true as some suspect, that wearing the twin new hats of Tennis Impresario and Budding Farmer, has soaked up a lot of my time for planning the upcoming seasons. More to the point, however, my writer’s block was occasioned by the audacity of President Obama’s speech to Congress last week.

After listening to his plan to increase taxes, social spending and environmental regulation during the worst recession of my lifetime, I am driven to one of two conclusions. Either the man is totally clueless or he is intentionally seeking to destroy what is left of our private economy.

Not being the paranoid type, I prefer to think it is the former. At least then there is a possibility that he will eventually see the error of his ways and change his tactics. If he truly is bent on destroying our country than God help us!

What is clear is that Obama seems incapable of moving from campaign mode to governing mode. He continues to jet around the country and give speeches in a frenzied manner as if the mid-term elections were next week. This alone is very unsettling, not to mention a big waste of energy.

In addition, despite his talk of bi-partisanship, he continues to have his minions demonize any who would dare to raise their voices in dissent of his Grand Scheme. His Enemy List started last fall with Joe the Plumber, and now includes CNBC’s Rick Santelli and Rush Limbaugh.

Notice that none of these are public office holders or officers in an opposition party. They are merely private citizens who, like millions of us, can’t take the insanity any more. I didn’t like it when Nixon took this route and I don’t like it any better today.

When Obama was elected I wrote in this column that I wished him well, but not well enough to be re-elected. Although that was intended as a mild joke, predictably it drew serious criticism from my liberal friends. If Obama succeeds it must be good for the country so why wouldn’t you want to see him re-elected?, they asked.

I let that go, but now the whole argument is being replayed over Rush Limbaugh’s recent comments. People that believe that Rush (or I) want the country to fail are the same people who were willing to believe that McCain wanted to keep the Iraq War going for 100 years. They are only willing to listen to half the argument.

Since I am busy with other things, I will quote from brother David Limbaugh to explain what Rush meant:

“(Rush’s) meaning was very clear. He believes that Obama is trying to restructure America in the image of the central planners and social nihilists: a radical growth in government and consequent reduction in the private sector and individual liberty, a radical relaxation in the war on terror and other national security imperatives, a radical push to diminish American sovereignty in favor of global entities on environmental matters and in deference to United Nations mandates on such distinctly internal matters as how parents raise their children, a radical empowerment of labor unions, a radical boost to the radical pro-abortion industry and death culture, a radical homosexual agenda, and, ultimately, the abject bankruptcy of America.”

O.K. Leaving out abortion and homosexuality, which no one will ever agree on, that’s pretty much how I feel. If those are in fact Obama’s goals, I want him to fail at every one of them! To conclude from that, that I want the country to fail, however, is to believe that the only way to save the country is to embark on this radical transformation of our traditional economic system. I certainly don’t believe that.

There is a tried and true method for getting out of these recessions. It is to cut taxes and let the capitalist pigs do what they do best, make money! It worked for Reagan after the years of Carter malaise, and it worked for JFK to break us out of the 1950s doldrums. It can work again, if Obama would only tone down his dream list of things we can’t afford right now, like socialized medicine, subsidized alternative energy and free college tuition for everybody.

There I feel better now!

On the streets of Cuyahoga

This is my return to columnizing after a three month hiatus. After writing a (mostly) weekly column for 18 years, I definitely needed a break. For the last few months, I have been mainly focused on my offline venture of starting up the Genesee Volley Tennis Club. (See http://www.geneseevolley.com).

That’s going very well, thank you, but since the outdoor tennis season is winding down (and the election is finally over) I thought I might venture back to blogging and see how it goes. No promises!

Of course I have had strong opinions about what has been going on in our long national nightmare, but I didn’t feel the need to add to the cacophony. Now that my ilk have been cast back into the political wilderness known as the Loyal Opposition, I feel the need to put in my two cents.

I was an early, constant and loyal supporter of John McCain. I felt he had the best chance of any Republican to win in what was obviously a very Democratic year, and also that he was the man I most trusted to guide our country through very treacherous international waters.

It was for that reason that I found myself on election day on the mean streets of Cleveland, Ohio serving as part of the Cuyahoga County Republican Committee legal team. Our job was to advise and support Republican observers in the polls. I was teamed with a local Ohio Attorney and we were given a list of about 15 polling places to monitor on the east side of the city.

The districts we were given were for the most part 99 per cent black, poor and Democratic. It soon became clear that we were hopelessly undermanned and out organized by the Obama team. While the Democrats had two or three official observers in every polling place we had none in about half of them.

From anecdotal evidence this was not because of a lack of people in Ohio willing to help. As a volunteer, it was way above my paygrade to know why the Republican organization was so incompetent. I’m sure there was ample blame between the local and national organizations to go around.

The bottom line, however, is that in a battleground state that was crucial to Mr. McCain’s strategy, we could not seem to get the people on the ground to properly protect Republican interests. This seemed especially troubling because of all the publicity about potential election fraud by ACORN and other groups, and in particular because of Cuyahoga County’s reputation for (at best) incompetent election administration.

As it happened, of course, Mr. Obama won the state of Ohio by about 200,000 votes. While I am quite certain that many people voted (once or more times) who shouldn’t have under the law, I am also sure that it was not enough to swing that big a margin. The point is, however, that it could have been a lot closer, and if it had been, there was absolutely nothing we could have done to stop the Democrats from stealing the election.

This should concern Americans of all political persuasions. Coming from a small town, with a strong two party system, it is hard to grasp how an area can operate under essentially a one party system. In one of the districts, one of our observers looked through the registration book and discovered that of 1,500 voters, there were only 2 registered Republicans!

I am not saying that blacks, or poor people, or Democrats are any more likely than any other group to try and steal an election. I’m sure that rich, white Republicans would be just as likely if they were left without anyone watching. That’s human nature. As Mr. Reagan said, “Trust, but verify!”