They (still) shoot congressmen, don't they?

Posted On: Saturday - May 11th 2019 9:29AM MST
In Topics: 
  Commies  History  US Feral Government  Dead/Ex- Presidents

That was some line from some movie that I don't really care to look up, except with the word "horses" where Peak Stupidity placed "congressmen". It still rings true for America just as whatever its point did in the movie, I guess(?). Anyway, I did want to follow up on my promise at the bottom of the 3rd Peak Stupidity post on the Jonestown Massacre of 40 1/2 years ago. (See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 of Drinking the Kommie Kool-Aid - 40 years back.) I had written in a footnote under the 3rd part that US Congressman Leo Ryan of California, from the Frisco* Bay area district that "housed" the People's Temple Kommie-Kult, was an interesting character himself.

Congressman Leo Ryan, traveling with an aide(?):

(Gotta love that 1970's hairstyle on her!)

"This was 1978... it was a different time you understand..."** Really, 40 years ago, the US Feral gov't, along with that of the various States, indeed had a different kind of people. Was it that we had almost twice the representation (one congressman for maybe 60% of the constituents as now based on that barely 200 million population)? I think the quality of Americans themselves was so much better that not only would it randomly result in better men (usually) as representatives versus the modern-day psychopaths, but voters wouldn't fall for the total douche-bags so easily.

What's striking about the biography of Leo Ryan is that we read of a representative of the 1960's - 1970's, pretty representative (get it?), though well left of, I'd say, most congressmen at the time, who spent his time for the benefit of the Californians of his damn district! What a concept! Just think of the people in that office today and what they care about most.

Let me back up just a bit. Leo Ryan, born in 1925, was a submariner in the US Navy, for 3 years, during WWII and a bit after. Nowadays, military veterans are a much smaller subset of the people in high office. You'd think Congressman Ryan would have been one of the conservatives, but, for his time, he was a fairly far-out lefty, as would be expected from that specific part of California. (Southern California, other than in the Hollywood area, had many millions of strong Conservatives back then, hence the election of Ronald Reagan as governor twice, etc.). He was a far-out lefty, but that's for the late '60's and the '70's. Reading through that biography, he was not just some spouter of Social Justice Bullshit - the guy practiced what he preached. As a CA State Assemblyman, he was concerned about education in California after the Watts (S. Cal) riots in 1965, so he became a substitute teacher to see what went on. Colleagues called his method "experiential legislating", and it sure beats running one's mouth with no experience like 90% of the fuckers up in office today (most now were lawyers).

In 1970, Assemblyman Ryan took on a pseudonym (this was a different time, you understand ... there were no cameras/facial-recognition every damn where...), got himself arrested and thrown into Fulsom prison ("Hey, I'm Johnny Cash Leo Ryan!") WHILE HE WAS ON THE ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PRISON REFORM! (Not sure how they had their committee meetings - maybe they all visited and used that phone through the 1" glass?)

As a US Congressman, one of Leo Ryan's interests was in reining-in the CIA, trying to put it more under the oversight of Congress with his Hughes-Ryan Amendment (to the "Foreign Assistance Act" of much earlier). I'm sure it was already too late to stop the Deep State from metastasizing, even in 1974, but do you think any congressman of either color-squad gives a damn about this stuff now? (No, Dr. Ron Paul has been out of office most of this decade.)

About the only thing, at least from the Wiki biography, that sounds like today's typical non-constituent-related, typical California-lefty BS, was Leo Ryan's trip to Newfoundland, way on the other side of the continent, to study the killing of the seals. Hey, if you care about seals, you can see them right in the late Congressman Ryan's district, in the Pacific freaking Ocean. I'd like to think otherwise, but that stuff sounds like the modern way of our "representatives" and I imagine Leo Ryan did not pay his own money for this seal-cation.

Let's converge toward the material of the 4 Jonestown posts now, as this brave (for a congressman) man headed down to (at first) Georgetown, Guyana. I know, I know, it sounds like a Rush song, but Leo Ryan had to go serve "the People, of the Temple ...", as along with a decent contingent of them still in his district in San Francisco, there had to be 5, 10 thousand close relatives/friends of the 900-odd Californians in, and trying to get out of, the now-Kommie-Kult work Kamp down in the jungle. Word did not come out via emails, tweets, and facebutt posts, as "it was a different time ... you understand ..."[ENOUGH - Ed]. Would a representative do this now, or just have his favorite General call in airstrikes and then the Army Corp of Engineers to bury it all?

The delegation heads to the plane for Port Kaituma:

The farther-away plane is the DeHavilland Twin Otter. The one in the foreground looks like a Shrike Commander.

After bucking the Jimmy Carter administration, who seemed to LUV those Kommie-Kultists (1st-lady Rosalyn had met Jim Jones before), Leo Ryan arranged to head down there, finally taking a flight*** with a delegation to Georgetown, the Guyanan capital, on Nov. 14th (of 1978). The group had a hard time making headway, Jim Jones refused to communicate with his group on the radio from the camp 150 miles away. It was 3 days before the small delegation from California and 9 journalists, a coupla Guyanans, totally 15 or so, took off in a Twin Otter to the airstrip at Port Kaituma. The rest of the story is in that 3rd of the 4 Peak Stupidity posts, but also in the Wiki article on the congressman linked-to above.

Congressman Leo Ryan meeting with Kommie-Kult leader Jim Jones in the jungle of Guyana, the day before, or the day of his murder:

(Again, I love those '70's sunglasses too.)

I'd written in Part 1 of the series on Jonestown about the lack of perspective of a very young person on the news. I didn't realize how much of a huge deal this was, and I also didn't realize that the shooting of a congressman was not a monthly or yearly, uh, habit. That was my excuse then, as I would not have wished any harm on this lefty (for the time) California representative to the US Congress. Nowadays, I have no such excuse. There are probably a majority of them for whom I wouldn't feel at all bad about, were they riddled with bullet holes in some shithole jungle somewhere. It's a different time .... you understand ...

Actual picture from the footage off the film from a cameraman, being shot at along with the rest from the ground and that trailer mentioned in Part 3 (Pt. Kaituma airstrip, November 18th, 1978):

* I'm not sure if anyone really said "Frisco" even back in the time of Jonestown, other than in the movies.

** OK, I've got more humor off youtube coming, but I'm not sure anything yet has topped the Not-Ken-Burns-narrated 10 minute video on the "Negro American Space Society of Astronauts, NASSA", where this line came from.

*** There was a Day the Music Died-type situation involved here, as Leo Ryan's friend, Congressman Dan Quayle from Indiana (later VP of the US for 4 years with the elder Bush - 89-92) was invited to go, but couldn't make it. I bet he felt later like Waylon Jennings did, who did not get on the single-engine Beech Bonanza with Buddy Holly, the "La Bamba" kid, and "the Big Bopper" that cold night 2 decades earlier in Clear Lake, Iowa. No shooting, of course, just a VFR pilot who though he could scud run and lost control quickly in the clouds.

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