static, interference, intervention, intervene, get involved so as to alter or hinder an action, white noise, snow, fuzz, fuzzy, Fuzzy, ME

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Who was Samuel Bicke?

Actually, his name was Samuel Joseph Byck. A search of Encyclopedia Brittannica finds no results and up until yesterday, there was nothing in Wikipedia either. A google search will reveal that he is the subject of the new Sean Penn film, "The Assassination of Richard Nixon". Byck (or Bicke, if you prefer) was an unemployed tire salesman from a poor family in Philadelphia. He was a highschool dropout who spent two years in the Army and received weapons and explosives training. He was discharged in 1956. He married and had 4 children. He could not hold a job and had several failed businesses. Byck spent two months in a psychiatric hospital to be treated for depression and began to blame his problems on a government conspiracy to keep the poor man down. On February 22, 1974, Byck attempted to hijack a DC-9 at BWI in order to fly it into the White House (sound familiar?) to kill Richard Nixon. He shot a security guard at the airport, rushed in to the plane and demanded it take off immediately. When this didn't happen, he shot and killed the co-pilot and wounded the pilot. He then took a hostage and demanded that she fly the plane. Before anything else happened, he was wounded by a policeman who shot through the plane door. Frustated, he shot and killed himself. An investigation afterward noted that he had recorded and sent several tapes to Jonas Salk, Leonard Bernstein, Senator Abraham Ribicoff, and Jack Anderson. An outspoken critic of Nixon, especially after a loan rejection from the Small Business Administration, he had been on the Secret Services watch list since 1972 when he had sent threatening letters to Nixon. He told investigators that he was just kidding. He was also arrested the Christmas of 1973 for protesting outside the White House in a dirty Santa suit. He was carrying a sign that said, "All I want for Christmas is my Constitutional right to petition my government for a redress of grievances".

In the movie, while he did go nuts in the end, his character seemed to be very much like Michael Douglas' character in "Falling Down". While it wasn't a great movie, it was pretty good and Sean Penn was excellent as always.

In Iraq today, one more person could be added to the list of casualties. This brought the total for January to 24 and the total for the war to 1357.


Post a Comment

<< Home