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Penn Magazine November 2017

The inaugural issue of Penn Magazine

William

William Penn Jones, the son of sharecroppers, was born in Annona, Texas, on 15th October, 1914. He was a hobo during the Great Depression and then worked his way through the University of Texas at Austin by working in various unskilled occupations. In 1946 Jones purchased the local newspaper, Midlothian Mirror (circulation 810) for $4,000. Jones campaigned for increased spending on black schools. His liberal opinions caused controversy and his attacks on the John Birch Society resulted in his office being firebombed. He was later the recipient of the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award for courageous journalism. “Hielten sich füer Captain Kirk ...” No idea what it means, but wow, Nena, 99 Red Balloons, something about confounding the generals, somehow it’s an anti-war song about balloons defeating the bad guys, and so, that’s cool. Our logo was drawn by “IMARTS,” that’s all we know, and we will probably never know exactly who that is. And that’s cool. We launch on yet another anniversary of the John F. Kennedy assassination. It still matters. It’s all that matters. Everything changed on that day . It’s not ancient history. On the little timeline of world history at the bottom of the sixth grade world history textbook with time measured in millions of years it’s still the same day. Some of us don’t think much about the Kennedy assassination, some of us have thought of nothing but. Some have spent years working on that puzzle at the kitchen table, over time they fade away, others take their places, the puzzle takes shape. Jim Fetzer, Kevin Barrett, James Tracy are among those who have sat at the table in recent years, laboring, picking up pieces, trying to match them to the existing work. In 1963 Jones became involved in investigating the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He was also the author of several books on the assassination: Forgive My Grief I (1966), Forgive My Grief II (1967), Forgive My Grief III (1974), and Forgive My Grief IV (1976). Jones sold the Midlothian Mirror in 1974. However, he continued to publish the newsletter, The Continuing Inquiry. Every year, on the anniversary of the assassination, Jones held a memorial service at Dealey Plaza. In 1995 the Coalition on Political Assassinations presented Jones, Harold Weisberg, Josiah Thompson and Mary Ferrell with the Sylvia Meagher Lifetime Achievement Award in honour of their ground breaking and persistent work in pursuit of the truth. William Penn Jones died in a nursing home in Alvarado, Texas, on 25th January, 1998. [From Spartacus Educational] We thank them. Another is Penn Jones, Jr., who perhaps was the first to sit down, coffee cup at his side, laying out the edges first. We thank him. Mike Palecek is the editor of Penn Magazine. Contact: nwestiowa@gmail.com 2/Penn Magazine/November 2017

“... beautiful people, you live in the same world as I do ... but somehow I never noticed you until today ...” No Wrong Questions So it begins. Welcome to Penn Magazine, named in honor of Penn Jones, Jr., one of the first investigators into the murder of John F. Kennedy. Jones ran a small weekly newspaper in Texas, 25 miles from Dallas. I was going to call it MIKE’s Magazine, not really, but maybe and it might have fit, given how many of my own stories I’ve got in here, but maybe you won’t notice, but then again I hope you do because if nothing else, my books have some amazing artwork, not done by me, and they are mostly still in pristine condish after all these years, untouched by human hands or eyes, clean one-owner, only driven by grandma on Sundays to buy oak wheat licorice black smoke beer. The idea behind this is that there are no wrong questions. That was my premise when I started The New American Dream website in the days of the first Obama election, and then in 2011 Chuck Gregory and I began The New American Dream Radio Show, same idea. If you are sitting at the Thanksgiving adult big table and you try to bring up JFK or 9/11 or the moon landings, heaven forbid you mention Bigfoot, well, your brother-in-law Brad is going to try to send you to Siberia with a roll of his eyes. That is what happened around the time of 9/11. We were not allowed to ask questions. You are either with us or you are with those guys with the box-cutters and nobody wants to be with the guys with the box-cutters, for sure you will sit by yourself in the cafeteria if you go that route. And another thing you are not supposed to do is bring up Bigfoot when you are trying to talk about things like Sandy Hook, Boston, Las Vegas, 9/11, Oklahoma City, because if you do talk about Bigfoot at the same time you are talking about those things, then you are crazy, and worse, so are the other guys who are talking about those “serious” things. But that’s crazy because that’s the thing. If we were to talk about all those things, on the Nightly News, at dinner, at church, or in the newspaper, we wouldn’t be as stupid as we are now. Another thing is this: I talk about 9/11, Sandy Hook, Boston, Bigfoot and UFOs. I consider myself a liberal, I guess, more than I do a conservative, blech. But when I talk about these things, my old liberal buddies call me a right-wing conservative gun knut, and I don’t get it. Why? Why would people who want to stop war and things not want to know the truth about 9/11? Why would you not want to understand what goes on, behind the scenes, as it were. So, here we are. In this first issue we talk quite a bit about The New American Dream Radio Show. We have regular guests and we feature them here. I don’t know exactly what all these people think about Bigfoot and 9/11. Just because we are all on this radio show doesn’t mean they have to think as I do, Allen The Alien forbid. Same with my co-host Chuck Gregory. Just sayin’. Okay, I guess that’s it, for now, from me. Oh, one more thing, the Columbo question, not a question. On Fridays, Ruth and I often go out to eat and maybe I have a few beers, then we come home, usually by six-thirty and I go back to my computer and listen to music on YouTube, maybe with the window open listening for Bigfoot, and hoping a flying saucer might — for once — land on the septic tank mound and hang out. Well, one recent Friday I somehow found some songs by Melanie, and I don’t know how I missed her during the ‘70s, but I’m from Nebraska and apparently I did, but now here she is, and she’s singing this song called Beautiful People and wow, and I’m thinking wild thoughts because I have had my quota of three pints or glasses or whatever of some October Minnesota craft brew something-something beer, and I’m thinking that’s what we need, buttons. Yes, we are all divided now, and we don’t talk about some things and we hate some people and all that and maybe it’s always been that way but right now is the worst because it is our time and everything has to be the worst and the best because this is us, but after we get the truth out there and everything is good because all that good stuff happens, the real goal would be to talk to everybody, like you would at a high school party after you have had a few and you love everybody and everybody loves you like you want to but you can’t during the week, well that’s what we’re shooting for here. Buttons. Beautiful people with buttons and the buttons are all the same and you feel good and okay because your button is just like theirs and you also like them because they are good, they are just like you. — Mike Palecek November 2017/Penn Magazine/3

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