J. Edgar Hoover Wouldn’t Approve of This Message (PART 2)

Picture 5When writing about a bad guy, I’ve stated before, you must make him realistic. He must be lovable, as well as hatable. He must have qualities, or goals, that are noble, and worthy of praise.

J. Edgar Hoover was exactly such a man. He was a fine, upstanding citizen, raised in the early twentieth century. His goal was to organize, and run, an exceptionally efficient organization, known as the FBI.

Hoover was quite efficient in all of his ways. He discussed, with an advisor, that wanted criminals would have less of a chance of escape if he deputized more agents. Shortly thereafter Hoover developed the Ten Most Wanted list. Hoover’s desire to lower the odds for criminals translates to one of the best law enforcement agencies in the world. The FBI is also one of the most feared among gangs, the Mob, and the Mafia.

The start of Hoover’s problems (or the problems Hoover caused), was closely related to his beginning at the FBI. When he became the director, Hoover started throwing the bad guys in jail. To quickly summarize, Hoover was dealing with the most famous gangsters, killers, and kidnappers of his time. They were dealing with an organization that they thought was porous in its law keeping. Hoover surprised them, and they all went to jail. Hoover got his first taste of perfection, and victory.

He locked up Ma Barker and her boys, Herman, Lloyd, “Dock”, and Fred. Alvin “old creepy” Karpis joined them sometime around the late 1920s, and the early 1930s. Technically the FBI never locked up all of them, as most of them committed suicide before they could be captured.

Hoover also killed, or put away, “Pretty Boy” Floyd, “Baby Face” Nelson, John Dillinger, and Bruno Richard Hauptmann (Charles A. Lindbergh Jr. kidnapper.) “Machine Gun” Kelly, Al Capone. All of the famous bad guys.

During the Prohibition, Hoover and the FBI were quite active. Drinking is something that many people do, and the fact that it was illegal doubled if not tripled the number of drinkers. People like illegal things. (Not to mention, selling it to addicts would make any bootlegger a fortune.) Point is, there were a lot of shoot-outs, and since “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within… the United States… is hereby prohibited,” the FBI had a certain amount of jurisdiction, as the law was passed over the entire country. Thus making it federal law.

All of the success lead to the “G-Men”. No, not the New York Giants, but the Government Men. The name stuck, after a cornered “Machine Gun” Kelly reportedly cried out, “Don’t shoot, G-Men, don’t shoot!”

G-Men craze came in the form of children wearing G-Men pajamas, and playing with toy G-Men machine-guns. There was even a G-Men magazine, and subscribers of said magazine were taught how to get finger-prints using flour, and they were taught the G-Men secret whistle (two long, and one short).

During all of this Hoover developed his micro-management skills. He made sure that the FBI had a perfect reputation, and, most importantly, he made sure that the FBI got all of the big publicity cases. If Hoover knew one thing, it was how to play the system. Big publicity, equals free advertising. Hoover got the FBI’s MO out through the newspapers, and he didn’t have to pay. The MO was “We’re large, and we’re in charge.” It struck fear in the hearts of small crime-fighting operations, and criminals alike.

During the cold war, Hoover was definitely an anti-communism guy. Another one of the good/bad sides of him. He hated communism… so much that he was radically against it. When President Harry S. Truman signed the Executive Order 9835, in March, 1947, I can see Hoover dancing a jig with sheer glee.

The Executive Order initiated the Federal Employees Loyalty and Security Program. It applied to all two million federal workers. Anyone who was believed disloyal could no longer work for the federal government, although the term “disloyal” was never defined. Any employee could be dismissed, and any applicant turned down if there were “reasonable grounds for belief that a person is disloyal.” (This is the type of power that the Founding Fathers did NOT want the government to have.)

Keep in mind that during the cold war, the entire country was commie happy. Everyone was a communist if they did anything out of the ordinary. You were a commie if you sat at the same table every time at the local diner. You were a commie if you sat a different table every time.

The FBI investigated 14,000 employees, on the aforementioned grounds, and J. Edgar Hoover still wasn’t happy. He described communism as a disease that the USA needed to constantly guard against. With Executive Order 9835’s wording leaving everything to interpretation, Hoover was able to place wiretaps in peoples phones and such, if there was even a bit of suspicion.

“Mr. Hoover, sir, there’s this one guy who doesn’t look like a commie, doesn’t act like a commie, doesn’t eat like a commie, doesn’t talk like a commie–”

“Say no more,” Hoover would reply. “Wiretap his house, just in case.”

Hoover’s critics would constantly cite the small number of communists in the USA. Hoover would always reply, “It took only twenty-three men to overthrow Russia.” He obviously believed it could happen here.

That was one example of Hoover’s over-reaching paranoia. Hoover was good friends with Senator Joe McCarthy. Go figure. McCarthy was one of the worst kidney-punching sleazeball ever. He developed a low-blow type of politics. It’s called McCarthyism, defined as, “the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, especially of pro-communist activities, often unsupported or based on doubtful evidence.”

Point being, Hoover, and McCarthy, were both insanely against communism. Problem was that they both used the issue to investigate or eradicate political enemies, or anyone they deemed pee-pee ants.

Hoover was doing the wrong things, but for the right cause. It’s the ultimate bad/good, good/bad struggle that every author wants for his antagonists. Unfortunately for you, my tired reader, there’s more.

Bye for now,

Ian, the writer soon to be searching for a book, or several articles on concise writing.

 

J. Edgar Hoover Wouldn’t Approve of this Message

J. Edgar Hoover

I have recently (within the last month) read two books on the man known as J. Edgar Hoover.

He was evil.

As a writer, I strive to create really good bad guys. Antagonists must be authentic, not your everyday, I’m-gonna-take-over-the-world-for-no-reason-other-than-I’m-a-megalomaniacal-megalomaniac type bad guys. I strive to make them three-, four-, even five-dimensional. If they appear human, and are lovable, and hatable, I feel accomplished.

One way I try to get the readers to love my bad guys is by making the bad guys’ goals charitable, noble, worthy, and honorable. If I have the bad guys trying to accomplish something that is right, or that they think is right, I’ve got a even more conflict for the reader. “Is the good guy doing the right thing? Is the bad guy going to win? Do I want the bad guy to win? Do I want him to lose?”

Readers eat that stuff up. They like to worry about the characters. (At least that’s what all of the books on writing fiction tell me.)

Either way, J. Edgar Hoover would make the best bad guy ever!

John Edgar Hoover was born in Washington D.C., January 1st, 1895. Quite punctual, as usual. Well, he hadn’t any “usual” yet, as he was just born, but… well, it set the standard I guess. He lived in the same house for the first 43 years of his life, a very Hoover-esque thing to do.

He was a good kid, always kept his nose clean. “As a youth I was taught basic beliefs,” said Hoover. “For instance, I was taught never to put another book above the Bible.” Hoover never drank with any of the other high school students, instead he found companionship with his family.

Another lovable quirk was the fact that he had a stutter. As a perfectionist, he knew this was unacceptable. In order to avoid it, he developed a machine-gun-like manner of speaking. (Awwwwww! Iddindatsocute?)

After graduating high school, Hoover took a job as a messenger and file clerk at the Library of Congress. He learned the incredibly complex card-index system, and learned it with a hunger. He worked at the Library for four years while earning a degree in law at George Washington University.

Hoover was a man with a plan, and a man with a purpose. Many recall that he seemed more purposeful than most anyone else. His niece, and superiors were among the ones specifically quoted in the books.

In July, 1917, he his law degree, and took as a clerk in the Justice Department (JD). Within three months, he had gotten a promotion. Over the next seven years of his career at the JD, Hoover would get promotion after promotion. After two years on the job, he was considered the JD’s expert on aliens.

In August, 1919, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer appointed Hoover the head of a new division, the General Intelligence Division (GID). Its job was to “research” (spy on) political groups that the government deemed too radical, and thus dangerous. U.S. political groups!

Using his index-card experience, Hoover created a filing system for the GID. The index contained information on 100,000 individuals who were considered political extremists. Within a few months this file had grown to 200,000 individuals. By the files third year of existence the number exceeded 450,000. Not content with this list, Hoover created a list of the 60,000 most dangerous.

I’d like to point out that this man was already overreaching his bounds. The GID is a department of government that is highly unnecessary, and I believe is part of the reason Hoover was in on the Watergate Scandal. He felt that the government had power, and he was twisted by that power. Twisted so much, that he did things that he never should have done. Watergate was just one of those things.

Hoover also hated communism. Another good point in this strange man. He wrote, “Communism is the most evil, monstrous conspiracy since time began.” He preformed a study on it, and quickly established himself as the nation’s number one authority on the subject.

Look up the “Palmer Raids”, and you’ll see what kind of control freak Hoover was. Hoover was in charge of planning them, and the total control factor really shows up. He arrested many, many, many people on suspicion, and it was one of the most shameful times in America. America is a country that advertises freedom, but this was an act worthy of some Nazi, or Communist state.

One year after the Palmer Raids, in August, 1921, Hoover, just 26 years old, was named the assistant director of the Bureau of Investigation (the FBI before the F, which is followed by “ederal”).

Now, before we go any further, I should explain about the old Bureau. The one with BI for it’s initials. (BI stands for Bad Intellect)

The bureau was a place that was full of irregularities, such as a system used in one Field Office, but no system whatsoever in another Field Office. The Agents were awful, getting into trouble left and right. Drinking a lot, and even drinking while on the job. The FBI, I mean BI, was finding more criminals inside its walls than outside. Hoover was ticked.

He set out from day one to fix the BI’s horrible system. He was taking over at a time when people where beginning to seriously question the bureau’s integrity. Image was everything to Hoover, and he was ready to get busy.

Hoover noticed an extreme lack of focus in the personnel, and made them one of the top most priorities. Yes, plural, the Bureau wasn’t a very well run organization. In fact, it wasn’t a very organized organization.

Hoover started by firing all agents who had a criminal past, or whose character was in question. Those who weren’t fired were retrained in “the way of the Hoover” as someone put it. Agents Hoover disliked, but he couldn’t fire without causing suspicion, where driven out by short-notice transferring. The agents reffered to it as being “on the bicycle.” Any agent on the short-notice list would be ordered to pack his bags and report immediately at his new post. It would go on and on until the agent resigned. Still others weren’t fired, but they quit because they didn’t want to work under the strict rules enforced by Hoover.

Hoover also installed an entrance exam. Citizens of the U.S. who were white males, between the ages of twenty-five and forty, had 20/20 vision, good hearing, and good health were eligible to apply. Those who had law or accounting degrees were given preference, as Hoover thought they’d be more professional in their evidence collection. Hoover believed the un-professionalism of the Bureau was the leading cause of its failure to win any cases.

Hoover was also the first directors to train the agents in the use of weapons. The agents were trained how to be an expert shot in revolvers, rifles, shotguns, and machine-guns. They were also taught how to launch tear-gas bombs accurately.

When Hoover became the director of the FBI (it was the FBI then), he set the standards to include all of the Bureau’s employees, including typists, file clerks, and lab techs. No drinking on or off the job. Unseemly behavior wasn’t tolerated. No coffee breaks, and personal property at desks was completely prohibited.

Hoover also installed a inspection system called the Internal Inspection Division. Agents from the IID would show up at Field Offices at least twice a year, and give out merits to FBI agents who preformed well, and give demerits to those who didn’t. Merits could result in a promotion or a raise, and demerits could result in a transfer to an unpopular location, and then finally to dismissal.

Hoover said, “I want the public to look upon the Bureau as a a group of gentlemen. And if the men here engaged can’t conduct themselves in office as such, I will dismiss them.” Before long, the agents were considered men of goodwill, and great character. This was due to the strict rules, and Hoover’s ever-watchful eyes. He found that the TV show, the FBIhad a scene in which an FBI agent was alluded to driving a little above the speed limit, and he ordered the speed reduced.

Each script for the show was reviewed by Hoover himself, and every detail during the filming process was watched by a hawk-eyed agent. If an actor held a weapon incorrectly the agent corrected him. If an actor had anything criminal in his past, he wasn’t allowed to act in the show. The actor that played Inspector Erksine was hand-picked by Hoover. Everyone that was on the set was background checked. Even the electricians, and the carpenters used to create sets, had to be cleared by Hoover.

All so that the FBI’s reputation would be saved. Hoover was a man who knew how to work the political system. Don’t back down. Stand your ground, and make sure you hold all the cards.

To close part one: Doesn’t Hoover sound so relatable. He works hard, he learns quickly, he’s simple, and he brilliant. He’s assertive, and meticulous. Maybe not your favorite boss, but he’d be a great son, right? Perfect, and self driven.

This adds to my bad guy analogy. Hoover was a very well kept citizen, who grew up in Washington, D.C. He was raised so that he had strong morals, and was fine man. He loved his country, and hated communism. So far, so good.

Hoover, as I have said, was a control freak when he took over the FBI, and that was something that would permeate the rest of his career. Overall, Hoover is likable, for the most part. He’s a good guy who fixed a corrupt FBI, right?

Wrong.

TO BE CONTINUED

 

It is What It is, and It Ain’t What It’s S’posed to Be.

Republicans-vs-Democrats

 

party  |ˈpärtē| Noun ( pl. -ties)

2 a formally constituted political group, typically operating on a national basis, that contests elections and attempts to form or take part in a government.

The problem with today’s political system is that it’s all about politics. You laugh, but I’m only half kidding. Meaning I’m half serious. You see the picture up there, and it makes you laugh, but it’s not kidding either. It’s very serious. It means what it says.

Translation of the Photo: a) The parties hate each other. b) It’s ALL about the parties, not the candidates. c) why did the democrats pick the donkey as their logo?

The one thing that is funny, is that the parties don’t matter any more. It used to be (or so I’m told–I’m still climbing the Hill, not even close to over it) that you could count on your politicians. You could count on them to do what they said, considering that if they didn’t, it would be lying, and you, the moral citizen, would take it upon yourself to relieve this lying scumbag of his title.

Used to be, that if you believed in what the Democrats brought to the table, you’d vote for them, along with the other citizens who believed in them as well. If you believed in the Republican party, you’d vote for them.

Then it got ugly when people started “being” Republican or Democrat. People chose sides. People started hating the other party, as if it were a professional sporting event, and it was the biggest rivalry game on the face of the earth: “The American Thunder Elephants, versus, the USA Butt-Kickin’ Donkeys!”

It reached the point where Republicans couldn’t say or do anything to win over any of the Democratic voters, let alone the Democrats they were supposed to “work with” on any political problems. They were unable to convince anyone that they weren’t the crazy radical Rightists that they had been labelled.

Same goes for the Democrats, they were branded, by the Right, as power-mongering, America haters. They were evil in the eyes of all Republicans. Maybe the Right was right, and the Left was right. Maybe both were what the other said they were. Maybe not.

Both sides have good people, and both sides have bad ones, that’s just human nature showing up. Human nature makes it impossible to be perfect, thus, nothing is perfect. Things really started heating up when the Progressives got involved. They were trying something bold.

In his book, Common Sense, (which inspired this post,) Glenn Beck says:

Many people will hear the word Progressive and immediately think of liberals or Democrats–but they’re not synonymous. Progressivism has less to do with the parties and more to do with individuals who seek to redefine, reshape, and rebuild America into a country where individual liberties and personal property mean nothing if they conflict with the plans and goals of the State. If the Progressive cancer were limited to defined political systems, it would be fairly straightforward to isolate it, treat it, and eventually be free from the disease. But it’s not. It’s infiltrated both political parties and the entire political class–the bureaucrats, lobbyists, trade unions, and corporations that all look at the government as their own personal ATM machine. The Progressives weren’t interested in taking over political parties, because that kind of thinking was too small; they wanted their movement to engulf the entire country.

I like that paragraph, because I think it says well what has happened. There are no parties anymore. Regardless of what anyone says, the parties are irrelevant. They are just masks now, hiding what the politicians’ beliefs really are.

It’s convenient, is it not? The fact that the parties have reputations that are so well known. Republicans are very Right. Democrats are very Left. They are predisposed on every issue. Any member of the party, before saying anything must ask his-/her-self, “What has the party said in the past?” or “What will they think?”

So, isn’t it convenient, then, for the Progressives, that both of the parties are representing them, and they don’t have to do a thing. They have both parties believing that Progressivism is the way to go, if not in name, then in ideology. They have it so, good, moral, thinking, and serious voters are voting for someone they don’t want in office. People who are strongly against Progressives are forced to choose Progressive Republican Candidate Jones, or even more Progressive Democrat Candidate Smith.

They have those choices, or they can vote for a small party candidate, and practically waste their vote. The vote is only wasted because of the ignorant I’m-Only-Gonna-Vote-For-My-Party-‘Cause-The-Other-One-Is-Evil People can’t see across the party line. They’ve got their political blinders on, and they aren’t going to vote for anyone else. Thus, there’s a total of about five votes for the small party candidates (or at least that’s all the good the votes do, in the Grand Scheme O’ Things).

The country was founded on a principle. The political system was founded on a principle. The principle was, and is, the fact, that man can govern himself. The Founding Fathers asked themselves this, and they decided we could.

The principle is necessary to the political system. It’s based on man’s belief in morality, and a strong, strong foundation in God. It is a necessary part of the American Experiment. We must keep ourselves in check. We must make sure that our fellow man is held back, if he cannot restrain himself. And above all, we must make sure, that we clean out the garbage of the government very regularly. We have to remain founded in God, in order to realize what is right, and what is wrong.

The principle of self-government is quite ingenious, as it is self-cleaning, and self-regulating. It works like this. The people vote for the best candidate. That would be the one who appears to be the wisest, the most intelligent, the most inclined toward the moral side of things, the most godly, the most up-standing citizen.

Then, while the candidate is in office, we find that he is truly a man of character, we see he keeps his promises, we see he does what we want him to.

Or, we see he is a power-hungry, sneaking, lying, slithering, skulking, little scumbag, who doesn’t do anything anyone tells him, and is clearly in it for the glory, and self-promotion, rather than for the betterment, and support of the beliefs of his voters. He cares nothing for the voters he ditched on Inauguration Day. He just wants more money, or more friends in high places, or more political status.

“No matter,” say we, the citizens of America, because we know. We know that next time voting season comes around, we’ll be ready for this liar. He won’t last another second in office. We’ll vote for anyone but him.

The problem is the Progressives. They’re game-changers. Game-breakers, if you will. They changed the rules. It’s harder to vote for the right guys now. You have to use your Morality Meter, and scan the politicians faces for their true meanings. You have to read their eyes, and read in between the lines, you have to find out what they’re really getting at. If you aren’t careful, you might, in the process of trying to remove a scumbag, put one right back in his place!

The Progressives broke the system, but evil always loses. That’s why Glenn Beck’s news company (TheBlaze) has the motto, “The Truth Lives Here.” Because truth always prevails. The truth is always right, it’s always the truth.

“You will know the truth,” Jesus said. “And the truth will set you free.”

You need to stay true to your beliefs. In the land of the free, I have a right to disagree, but I can’t change who you vote for. That’s your decision 100 percent. Vote based on character, and morality, rather than looks, and appearances. Vote for someone who will be your servant. That’s what the government is: a servant.

Show ’em who’s boss!