Harold Simmons Will Be Remembered for Swiftboating and Swiftboating Alone

Categories: Schutze

Brantley Hargrove did a fine job Monday recounting the career of Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, who died last Saturday at 82. But before the ground hardens over him, I just want to make sure we take note of the one and only thing anybody may remember about Mr. Simmons 50 years from now. He bankrolled an episode of character assassination, deceit and lying so vile that its name, swiftboating, has entered the English language as a verb.

Thumbnail image for haroldsimmons.jpg
Harold Swiftboat Simmons

People don't remember money. It comes and goes like water. But they do remember the peaks and valleys of history, and the 2004 attack on the Vietnam war record of then presidential candidate John Kerry was a point so low it made its way into the language. Simmons gave $2 million to the Dallas-based team of hacks and liars who tried to turn Kerry's record of personal heroism in combat into a ragged tissue of lies and shame. That will be Simmons' true and enduring legacy.

Republicans in 2004 had a problem. Their candidates, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, had skated out of their only possible exposure to combat on the rich kid ticket, avoiding war through student deferments and assignments in the National Guard. Kerry later opposed the war but only after going to war first, where he saved lives, took wounds and was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.

All of the allegations brought against Kerry by the team bankrolled by Simmons and Harlan Crow of Dallas have since been thoroughly discredited. Not a single claim stands today. An example is the assertion by Navy veteran Larry Thurlow, who claimed his swift boat was 50 yards from Kerry's boat in the mouth of the Bay Hap River on the day Kerry won his Bronze Star. Thurlow said Kerry lied about rescuing a fellow sailor under enemy fire that day. Thurlow said there was no enemy fire that day and all Kerry did was pull a guy back in who had fallen overboard.

The New York Times reported in August of 2004 that a damage report showed Thurlow's own boat took three bullet holes that day; Thurlow himself was awarded a Bronze Star in the same incident; documentation for Thurlow's Bronze Star included reports of enemy fire; a Viet Cong was killed and five were wounded in the incident. That was only one of an entire fabric of lies published in the swiftboating campaign against John Kerry, all of which have since been refuted.

As full disclosure, I should say that I did not serve in the military and was an anti-Vietnam war protester. I was on a debate team with Kerry when we were kids. He would not remember me. I do remember him. He was a couple years older. How much can you tell about somebody when you're teenagers? But I do remember qualities of leadership and integrity.

Of course politics is a rough game and needs to be. Of course there is mud and blood and will always be. But there are still limits. There is a reason the swiftboat effort against John Kerry is now enshrined in the language. It was a new and shocking low, a vile abandonment of all decency. In his last moments Harold Simmons should have prayed for his name to be utterly forgotten, because if it is remembered at all a half century from now it will be only for his role in the swiftboat attack against John Kerry.


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100 comments
rusknative
rusknative

Kerry is no hero...he only knew how to brown nose and slip stream the Kennedy family and his entire short military career was planned to make him seem "Kennedyish" so he could garner favor....His marriages show what a worthless person he is...only married wealthy women so he could enjoy the good life without working for it.....and his present disasterous stint as "Secretary of State" is testimony to his shallow and incompetent abilities.  He knows the looks, dress, and nuanced appearance and speech of a statesman, but he is NO HERO.   He is as big a liar as the Obama and Hilliary team.

MisterMean
MisterMean

So when Harold Simmons comes before the Osiris to have his heart weight against the  feather of truth will it be heavier or lighter?  

The ancient Egyptians believed that, when they died, they would be judged on their behavior during their lifetime before they could be granted a place in the Afterlife. This judgement ceremony was called "Weighing of the Heart" and was recorded in Chapter 125 of the funerar text known as the "Book of the Dead".

The ceremony was believed to have taken place before Osiris, the chief god of the dead and Afterlife, and a tribunal of 43 deities. Standing before the tribunal the deceased was asked to name each of the divine judges and swear that he or she had not committed any offenses, ranging from raising the voice to stealing. This was the "negative confession". If found innocent, the deceased was declared "true of voice" and allowed to proceed into the Afterlife.

The proceedings were recorded by Thoth, the scribe of the gods, and the deity of wisdom. Thoth was often depicted as a human with an ibis head, writing on a scroll of papyrus. His other animal form, the baboon, was often depicted sitting on the pivot of the scales of justice.

The symbolic ritual that accompanied this ritual was the weighing of the heart of the deceased on a pair of enormous scales. It was weighed against the principle of truth and justice ( known as maat ) represented by a feather, the symbol of the goddess of truth, order and justice, Maat. If the heart balanced against the feather then the deceased would be granted a place in the Fields of Hetep and Iaru. If it was heavy with the weight of wrongdoings, the balance would sink and the heart would be grabbed and devoured by a terrifying beast that sat ready and waiting by the scales. This beast was Ammit, "the gobbler", a composite animal with the head of a crocodile, the front legs and body of lion or leopard, and the back legs of a hippopotamus.

The ancient Egyptians considered the heart to be the centre of thought, memory and emotion. It was thus associated with interlect and personality and was considered the most important organ in the body. It was deemed to be essential for rebirth into the Afterlife. Unlike the other internal organs, it was never removed and embalmed separately, because its presence in the body was crucial. 

If the deceased was found to have done wrong and the heart weighed down the scales, he or she was not though to enter a place of tourment like hell, but to cease to exist at all. This idea would have terrified the ancient Egyptians. However, for those who could afford to include Chapter 125 of the Book of the Dead in their tombs, it was almost guaranteed that they would pass successfully into the Afterlife. This is because the Egyptians believed in the magical qualities of the actual writings and illustrations in funerary texts. 

By depicting the heart balancing in the scales against the feather of Maat they ensured that would be the favourable outcome. The entire ceremony was, after all, symbolic.

Following the Weighing of the Heart, the organ was returned to its owner. To make quite sure that this did happen, Chapters 26-29 of the Book of the Dead were spells to ensure that the heart was returned and this it could never be removed again.

 

fratdawgg23
fratdawgg23

Jim Schutze: Spot on, mate. A fitting farewell to the cretin Simmons. 

I can only add: 

Alpha Mike Foxtrot 

cantgetfooledagain
cantgetfooledagain

Let's not forget Charles and Sam Wyly who also participated in this heinous act.  

cwi4691
cwi4691

I think there are a lot of very intelligent people who would take the opposite view and, perhaps, recommend Simmons for sainthood for saving the nation from the Presidency of John Kerry.

Catbird
Catbird

We just saw the John Ford classic “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” and I thought of your one sided indictment of Harold Simmons as I watched Edmond O’Brien’s portrayal of Dutton Peabody, the “Founder , Owner and Editor of the "Shinbone Star"


"Good people of Shinbone; I'm your conscience, I'm the small voice that thunders in the night, I'm your watchdog who howls against the wolves…” Bravo Mr. Peabody!


Jim you’ve been on target and had the courage to tell some pretty hard truths to the people who own Dallas for a very long time and I honor that. Maybe Mr. Simmons was one of those and you know more than you’re saying in your piece. I’m not in position to know.


But it seems to me that going after Simmons for “Swiftboating” someone who has used his authority as a US Senator to damage the United States of America as profoundly as John Kerry has does a disservice to your reputation and to the principles that our soldiers have traditionally offered their lives to defend.


The day Kerry decided to became a leader of the anti-war movement and stood in a line to throw his decorations over a fence onto the capital grounds, he betrayed his oath, became a member of the communist fifth column in America and lost title to any honor that may have earned during his service in Vietnam.


http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/ballot_box/2003/09/the_worst_of_john_kerry.html


Please keep on being our watchdog Jim and God yes, howl against the wolves but howl against them all.


Please remember that nothing static, we live in a lawless, tribal society where might makes right and people like John Kerry can only be stopped by someone like Harold Simmons...or maybe Jim Schutze.


Thanks for your honest effort Jim and Rest In Peace Mr. Simmons.

yankee011
yankee011

The world lost a true piece of s

JackJett
JackJett

It takes a mega balls to write the truth about the Smear Boaters ...here in the home of their spigot.  What HS and his wussy war mongers created was such a low, vile scum sucking form of hypocritical bullshit that people need to be reminded of his true history.  

While it may not endure you to the Spaeth clan nor ensure you the best table at Cattle Barrons, I am sure your former debate acquaintance would appreciate your support.   It was one of our States more embarrassing moments in political douchebaggery.    

Olivia
Olivia

@rusknative Married a wealthy woman makes him worthless? What's that make John McCain?

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@cwi4691

No intelligent person takes the opposite view.

Some pretend to - but they do so dishonestly, and usually while cowering behind anonymity.

Their shortcoming is one of character, not intellect.


fratdawgg23
fratdawgg23

@Catbird- Such a tired insult: "anti-war protesters are commies". Presumably you also support the concept that 'pro-USA is pro-war'?! Bollocks. 


There is nothing honorable or heroic about the U.S. military attacking smaller, weaker countries as has been the habit post-WWII.


It does the veterans and citizens of the U.S. a disservice to pretend that any of the post-WWII U.S. wars of aggression were in defense of anything.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Catbird

"Kerry..... became a member of the communist fifth column in America"

Joe McCarthy lives, he just goes by the name Catbird!

good grief, your use of "communist fifth column" is about as idiotic as it comes. I know it is early but you have put forth a very strong contender for the most ridiculous post of 2014! others may contend but it will be difficult to surpass this gem.

rusknative
rusknative

@JackJettactually, it merely takes a keyboard and a small mind attached electronically to the internet....no balls at all, except hairballs.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@JackJett

It doesn't take that much courage - it just takes an honest character.


dingo
dingo

@JackJett  

You sound like an evangelical; telling people what they need. 

Catbird
Catbird

@fratdawgg23 @Catbird No. Most US ant-war protesters were just kids who were propagandized by American communists like Bill Ayers who has made a career out of undermining the constitution with treasonous intent to end the country as the framers intended it.


I was not a fan of the war although the "domino theory" of communist expansion played out after the US withdrew.


LBJ and the US Military Industrial Complex started the war for profit by lying to the American people about the Gulf of Tonkin incident which didn't happen like he said at all and was a response to other US attacks on a NV controlled island.


My view is that the US never should have been involved in that war but  also the Bush invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan were motivated by the same forces for the same reasons.


The troopers who fought, bled and died had no choice in the matter. In war the troops and the mission become one, they are indivisible. Once the troopers are sent in and blood is spilled I am in total support of them therefore the mission. 


For John Kerry to help the enemy was treason there is no doubt and the man should have been shot not elected to the senate.


As to the virtue of the Vietnamese communists, they have none. They are cold blooded killers who murdered about 2 million of their own people after the war and who also sent an uncounted number of American POW's to Russia and Communist China for interrogation and execution...totally violating the Geneva Convention.


The total Charlie Foxtrot comes down to who you love and who your allegiance is to...we know them by their fruit.


By the way, the last US Soldier to die in Vietnam was Lance Corporal Darwin Lee Judge, USMC 29 April 1975...he was 19 years old.             

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog @Catbird John Kerry met with the Communist North Vietnamese in Paris to carry their water in DC when it came to surrendering the war against the Communist North Vietnamese.


It's not hyperbole in this case.


Oh, and now that the KGB has released it's records, it turns out that they actually had infiltrated Hollywood and many of McCarthy's targets were actual Communists with connections to Russian intelligence.  Oops.

Catbird
Catbird

@mavdog @Catbird  No not really. I'm in getting close to the end of a significant research project detailing the coordination between American communist groups like the Weather Underground and their leaders Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn and the leadership of the North Vietnamese. 


There is plenty of documentation to prove that illegal meetings occurred in France and that the North Vietnamese knew in advance of significant ant-war propaganda activities planned by their American comrades. 


In testimony before congress in 1971 John Kerry himself openly admitted meeting with the North Vietnamese in Paris in 1970 when the US was still engaged in combat. He broke the law mavdog and ought to have done time for the offence. 


http://www.americanthinker.com/2004/08/did_navy_lt_kerry_violate_the.html


The communist living in the White House right now should prove to even myopic intellectuals like you that Senator McCarthy was right on.


All power to the people!     

JackJett
JackJett

@rusknative@JackJett Irony that you write that is that I am currently trying to clean out the keyboard that is full of dog hairs from our three rescues.   I would have never guess how dog hair could bury itself deep with under my keys. 

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

"The left is in control"

Seriously? You're trying to be funny, right?

Don't know where you are, but we're in Texas. If you actually believe that "the left is in control" around here you ARE living in an alternative reality.

Thanks for the laugh.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdogThe "alternative" press is no longer the alternative to the mainstream, it's simply "mainstream plus!" saying what the mainstream thinks it has to self-censor.  It's all the Establishment Media.


Remember, when people start looking to censor something under the Fairness Doctrine or because it is some sort of "subversion", they are not looking at Voice Media, they are looking at talk radio and Fox.  THAT is the true alternative media.


Face it.  The left is in control.  You are carrying water for The Man.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps

ahh, I see your problem. you're looking at who is lauded in the articles of an "alternative press" publication to identify they are "the man"!

clearly you're living in an alternative reality.

btw Baron will be remembered most for his shaking down industry for $Billions in asbestos litigation. his business model is followed by many attorneys today, hence the adulation by the head of the Dallas bar assoc.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog@everlastingphelpsSimmons wasn't on the side of the Man, or he would have gotten the fellatio like send off that Fred Baron (one of the Man's water carriers) got here:


http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2008/10/after_the_jump_frank_stevenson.php


Why does Fred Baron (who will be remembered for covering up John Edwards fathering a bastard child while his wife died of cancer) get that response and Harold Simmons gets this?  Because Simmons bucked the status quo.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps

as Jim shows with the above review of Harold Simmons' exploits and Brantley Hargrove's prior article, clearly Simmons and his peers are "the Man", and they are definitely NOT on "the left" .

far from it actually.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@bvckvsHeckling is how you fight the Man.  The left is the Man, so that is how we fight back as the oppressed.  


If you don't like it, stop being an oppressor.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@everlastingphelps@bvckvs@cwi4691

If you honestly believe that, so be it.


But personally, I just see it as mindless heckling - which seems to be a very popular pass-time with Evangelical and Libertarian Republicans.  That's probably because it's easier on their weak minds, than defending their indefensible beliefs would be.


rusknative
rusknative

@mavdogand you truly believe that Lincoln loved blacks and fought the Civil War to free slaves.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Catbird

Yeah, you don't know what a "communist" actually means but you throw the label on people who think differently than you, you believe those who worked against the Vietnam war should have been "shot", you mistakenly say the domino theory was proven correct, and you are an admirer of Joe McCarthy.

I know for a fact who has their head up their anus....take a look in the mirror to see who it is!

Catbird
Catbird

@mavdog  “Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.”


President Woodrow Wilson

“The New Freedom”, 1913


Get your head out mavdog

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Catbird

the domino theory was shown to be totally, completely wrong. in fact, China and Vietnam had armed conflicts between them in 1979.

"Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionaries and rebels—men and women who dared to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion"

    Dwight Eisenhower

rusknative
rusknative

@mavdogyou have not kept up with the more recent revelations re: McCarthy and the FBI and the CIA conflicts.  McCarthy did his job, unlike current Congressional Senators today.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Catbird

what exactly "has been well hidden" that you are referring to?

Catbird
Catbird

@everlastingphelps @mavdog not many people know this as it has been well hidden. I honor your effort to understand the history of the country. It's no small thing.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps

it's a bit early to be drinking isn't it phelps? that could be the only explanation for your disconnect from reality.....

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@tdkisok @mavdog Actually, I already agreed to accept the argument mavdog was making, and then he freaked his shit and changed his argument.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps

so you flat out refuse to acknowledge the fact McCarthy attacked American citizens as foreign agents without any evidence, with very few if any of those McCarthy attacked being guilty of any offence?

tdkisok
tdkisok

@mavdog


"what? your reading comprehension is a bit flawed...."


Once Phelps clings onto something he will not let go.......no matter how wrong he is. It's his only defense. 

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog So, you flat out refuse to acknowledge what the Venona intercepts and KGB archives conclusively confirm now?

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps

what? your reading comprehension is a bit flawed....

McCarthy was WRONG in his actions. If there were evidence that a person was acting as a foreign agent, bring them to justice, yet what McCarthy thrust on America was nothing of that sort.

The lives which were harmed by McCarthy and his "red baiting" are a scar on our society.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog @everlastingphelps So at the end of the day, your position is that McCarthy was right, but you feel that the atmosphere created and the false positives were more damaging than the spies.


I disagree, but I accept it as a principled and reasoned decision (and one that have myself come to on many things, like the drug war, the plea bargain system, the NSA, etc etc etc.)

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps

Kerry and other Americans who were against the war communicated with the Vietnamese. OMG!

I'm willing to call Russian agents in America communists, and they were/are spies. They should be revealed and expunged.

Witchhunts are bad because there is no proof there are witches, just like McCarthy had no proof his targets were "spies". Unless one has facts to back up their accusations, those accusations are accurately called a "witchhunt". that is what McCarthy engaged in. The irony is what McCarthy did was un-American and similar to the Stalin purges, not what we as a free society with individual protections affords its citizens.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog Kerry met with the Vietnamese communists. It wasn't like he just happened to be on the same side as them.  He coordinated with them.


I'm comfortable calling American agents in Russia capitalist/pro-free-market.  Why are you so uncomfortable calling Russian agents in America communist?


Witchhunts are bad because there aren't any witches.  Spy hunts are no scar on a society when there really are spies in the targeted group.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps

Apparently you take the position that those who opposed the war on Vietnam were "communist" and worked as agents for the North Vietnamese against America.

I disagree, those who opposed the war were patriots who took the correct stand against our country waging war on a nation that did not attack us, nor threatened our national security. that inlcudes Kerry, who was brave to testify in Congress against the war.

it's not hyperbole in this case.

the KGB files show that Russia had agents in America. what a shock! guess what? America had agents in Russia!

What Joe McCarthy did was issue blanket attacks on people who had political leanings that were on the left, without any evidence of their working on behalf of any foreign government. It was a true witchhunt, a scar on our society.

the fact that you choose to defend McCarthy says a lot about you Phelps, and it is not positive.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Catbird

well if Kerry actually met with a North Vietnamese communist then HE MUST also be a communist!

the fact that you also use the word "communist" as a label for Obama only reinforces the extent of your intellectual failure in understanding what connotates a "communist".

like I said, you are nothing but a modern day McCarthyist. that is not a compliment, is is a prejorative. well done!

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