Saturday, May 08, 2010


As a precocious 7 year old follower of politics in 1952, I joined most of the country in supporting Dwight Eisenhower for President due, in part, to his clever three word campaign slogan, "I like Ike". As expected and hoped for, he won, and only later did I find out that there was a brilliant military strategist and canny politician behind that three word catch phrase.

Fifty-six years later I observed another contender for high office, this time for Vice President, troll for votes on the slogan, "Drill, baby, drill." Scratching the surface of her candidacy for substance I found none. Instead, there was a contender who couldn't tell you what newspapers she read other than "all of them", and who claimed she could deal with our still most potentially dangerous nuclear adversary, Russia, because she can see their leader fly over her nearly connected home state of Alaska when he traveled the world.

Instead of admiration, I was instilled with fear.

A hundred years from now, school children will study the brilliant general and wise President, who on departing office warned of American decline at the hands of the "Military Industrial Complex", a development which may prevent us from even studying him in a hundred years. Upon seeing his visage they will conclude he was someone to like. If shown a picture of the long forgotten Sarah Palin, they will be reduced to just two words: "Who dat?"

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


The crimes of Bernie Madoff pail in comparison to those of the Banksters from Wall Street investment houses.

Madoff spent decades swindling the rich; people who closed their eyes to his ridiculous return on investment rates higher than was legally and rationally possible. Celebrated by virtually everyone in the financial community as a genius, it turns out his only genius was being able to fool the best and brightest year after year. During the boom years he was helped by the folks who cashed out with the advertized earnings which were simply the new investers' capital. When the economy imploded in 2007-8, the spike in cash outs lowered the curtin on his Ponzi Scheme, and Madoff was revealed as the crook he always was.

While Madoff was fleecing the rich, the Banksters from Wall Street were fleecing everyone else. They sliced and diced millions of shaky mortgages, sold them off for a fortune, and then made another fortune betting those investments would fail.
When their house of cards collapsed, Uncle Sam came to their rescue so the entire economy wouldn't collapse along with them.

Madoff, who was simply a perverted version of Robin Hood, robbing from the rich to give to the rich - himself, got 150 years in prison. The Banksters, for their part in nearly destroying our entire economy, also got 150...millions in salary and bonus, that is.

Originally published in the Daily Herald, May 1, 2010

Sunday, May 02, 2010


Environmental lawyer Mike Papantonio, co-anchor with Bobby Kennedy Jr. of "Ring of Fire" on progressvise radio, has filed a class action lawsuit in 3 gulf states on behalf of the gulf industries facing economic collapse from the unfolding off shore oil spill.

The suit claims that thanks to the secret meetings Vice President Dick Cheney held with top oil executives in early 2001, Big Oil was exempted from installing the fail safe "acustic switch system" required in every other country in the world for companies doing off shore oil rig drilling. The device costs a meer half million, something Papantonio's suit claims Cheney decided to exempt Big Oil from having to put up with.

Now that the failure to require such a device may be the primary cause of an environmental disaster whose catastrophic effect cannot even be estimated, it is time for the Cheney-Big Oil meeting details to finally be revealed. Anti war critics have long wanted these details exposed to determine if they shed light on the Bush Administration's rush to needless war in Iraq. With this new allegation, we have a double duty to dip into the mess Cheney unleased upon assuming office which may be connected to the mess in Gulf as well as the mess in the Middle East.