Frontier Former Editor

March 17, 2009

Here’s another reason to major in history, or at least read it more than once every few years . . .

The Credit Mobilier scandal of 1872 – a good reason to hold big business’ s and elected government’s collective feet to the fire on a regular basis.

“Crédit Mobilier of America was formed by George Francis Train, the vice-president in charge of publicity for the Union Pacific Railroad. Crédit Mobilier of America was designed to limit the liability of stockholders and maximize profits from construction with the hefty fees being paid by federal subsidies. The company also gave cheap shares of stock to members of Congress who agreed to support additional funding  . . .

“It was claimed that the $72 million in contracts had been given to Crédit Mobilier for building a rail only worth $53 million. Union Pacific and other investors were left nearly bankrupt.”

Okay folks, and that was 57 years before the 1929 crash. Dubya, let’s go over the success of the “No Child Left Behind Act” again, shall we?

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March 15, 2009

Cry me a river, you neo-fascist turd

Dick Cheney is aggrieved because Dubya didn’t pardon his familiar:

“I was clearly not happy that we, in effect, left Scooter sort of hanging in the wind,” Cheney said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union with John King.” He acknowledged a “fundamental difference of opinion” with Bush on the matter.

A federal jury in Washington convicted Libby of lying and obstructing an investigation into who blew the cover of CIA officer Valerie Plame, whose husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had criticized the Iraq war.

Bush earlier commuted Libby’s 2-1/2-year prison sentence but before leaving office in January, Bush refused to give Libby an outright pardon.

Cheney said Libby had been unjustly accused and deserved a pardon but Bush disagreed. It was one of the few areas that Cheney has publicly said he disagreed with Bush on during their eight years in the White House.

I’ve made my opinion of Dick Cheney clear in this blog many a time – from his term as Secretary of Defense to the last eight years of a neo-fascist pall over this country. But now, I truly think he is this country’s Beria or Feliks Dzerzhinskiy, or even a low-rent Himmler.

Please, Cheney, find yourself a lair with some self-destructive mountain militia.

March 13, 2009

Where have you gone, Louis Rukeyser? Our nation holds its lonely eyes to you . .

If anyone ever questions or trivializes the role of satire and humor in society, they should remember this 10-minute segment.

Especially in a time where Citibank is hosting conference calls – on our tax dime – to encourage union-busting and who-knows-what-else.

What Stewart did is in the best tradition of Petroleum V. Nasby, Herblock, Samuel Clemens, Mort Sahl, George Carlin, Tom Lehrer and hosts of other humorists – ridicule, embarass, shame, humiliate and destroy anything that would prey upon society.

This society needs a huge sweep to remind ‘big business,’ ‘Wall Street,’ and every other over-dominant segment of the American business and political scene that acting like Charles Keating did in the  years leading up the the savings and loan scandals of the 1980s may not be child molestation but is just about as legally and morally defensible as being a child molester.

And while we’re at it on a bleak Friday afternoon, please allow Rush Limbaugh to continue broadcasting and expressing his opinion. Part of a free society is having the right to express one’s opinions and having the responsibility to defend the logic and rationality of those opinions.

And please allow Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele the right to express his political views for the same reason – even if he lacks the intellectual weight to generate rational policy and philosophical positions.

By the way – even Louis Rukeyser got caught violating federal trading rules, so be thankful, Jim Cramer. Be very, very thankful.

October 19, 2008

W.

I went to see the movie ‘W.’ It was like a five-year old sachertorte. It could have been delicious, but it was five years too late.

I just finished reading ‘Hubris’ by Michael Isikoff and David Korn a few days ago, and much of the film’s 2002-2005 moments track pretty well with that book.

Scott Glenn’s broad-brush portrayal of Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Dreyfuss’s Bela Lugosi-like depiction of Dick Cheney were enjoyable in an “I-told-you-so” way, and Thandie Newman was a well-done characature of Condoleeza Rice.

Toby James as Karl Rove; What an inspired piece of casting! Rove as a malignant Truman Capote.

Josh Brolin as Shrub – it deserves an Oscar for its depth in portraying someone so intellectually shallow.

As for Oliver Stone? Stone is pretty restrained here. Given the proven outlandishness of the real-life cast of characters inspiring, Stone didn’t have to resort (much) to methods already used in ‘JFK’ to move that version of events.

Most of the people I saw in the theater were, based on their demeanor and appearance, probably Democrat. The film’s appeal probably will be partisan and may have little if any real impact on the election.

But it still would have been better for this movie to have appeared before 2004.

October 15, 2008

Everyone’s favorite ‘Salem’s Lot’ character that wasn’t included in the book

With all the hoopin’ and hollerin’ about our most favorite presidential election since, well . . . . since Nixon vs. McGovern, it’s all too easy to forget old friends like . . . .

 

 

Yep, Graf Cheney is having heart trouble again. After all, if you were nosferatu and faced having to move all those caskets of home earth after eight years . . . even with government allowances, it’s still hard to find Secret Service agents willing to ride the Borgo Pass this time of year.

 

And on other matters, I still wonder why no one has made a case for Sarah Palin being the reincarnation of Spiro T. Agnew. After all, she’s got Spiro’s winning way with selected and tamed groups of working folk (Philadelphia definitely didn’t fall in that category), and she’s got a gubernatorial pedegree much like that of Agnew’s.

 

Maybe if Cheney’s heart procedure is successful , he can help bring life to Palin’s national political aspirations. Eternal life . . . . .

July 4, 2008

Not sure if this is particularly good or bad news on the Fourth of July

Filed under: bald white guys, Congress, dumbasses, observations, old times, politics — Tags: , — Frontier Former Editor @ 7:47 pm

Jesse Helms is dead. Everybody’s got their opinion of him. Personally, he always struck me as a asshole, showboating, politically simplistic person who just happened to have access to a media outlet at the right opportunity.

more here

June 23, 2008

Blue Monday

Filed under: bald white guys, George Carlin, humor, observations, old times, societal niceties — Tags: — Frontier Former Editor @ 6:46 am

George

 

Shitpissfuckcuntcocksuckermotherfuckerandtits.

That was quite possibly the most important lesson I learned as a teenager.

Thanks, George.

June 9, 2008

Something more freakish than living-dead dog heads

 

namely, the man who would think he has even a snowball’s chance in the jet blast of an F-15 in afterburner of becoming Virginia’s junior U.S. senator. I give you . . . . . James Gilmore.

Yes, James Gilmore, whose administration gave me more than enough to do during my career as a reporter.

James Gilmore, whose political bright idea was to phase out Virginia’s local personal property tax on personal automobiles. It sounds good, until one realized that:

A) Gilmore’s bright idea included having Virginia replace the phased-out revenue with state tax revenues, so we could all pay for our lower car tax with our own state tax monies.

B) Gilmore slightly underestimated the cost to state coffers – he said $40 million in state revenue annually to pay for the phase-out. The actual cost? Try more than $100 million annually.

C) Gilmore’s vision of lowering the local tax burden on Virginia citizens would have qualified as legal blindness, since localities found themselves raising real estate tazes and other fees to meet the shortfall. Ergo, more local taxes on the hard-working Virginia taxpayer.

D) Less available state tax revenue meant less funding for things like education, transportation, public health, and teacher and state employee raises. (The last item always gives me a big chuckle, since one of my relatives goes on about how Gilmore’s Democrat successors as governor screwed deputies and corrections staff out of their raises. News flash: Gilmore spent damn near all the money on your raises on his goofy pyramid scheme to lower your car taxes).

And, to round out a fun-filled four years of Big Jim the Car Tax King, he managed to make enough of his own party mad enough at him so that two major Republican legislators came out today to support the Democratic candidate for Virginia’s U.S. Senate candidate, Mark Warner.

Yep, it’s in the Washington Post and the Roanoke Times

Warner, incidentally, succeeded Gilmore as Virginia governor and managed to work with most state Republican legislators to rescue basic services and the state’s bond ratings. The two Republicans – Delegate Vince Callahan and state Senator John Chichester – were the top overseers of the state budget legislative process and enjoyed the distinction of having Gilmore veto the budget plan they crafted in an attempt to clean up the mess he helped bring about.

I had the interesting experience of interviewing Gilmore and of observing his arithmetic skills. When asked to explain why he didn’t apply more of his own discretionary economic development fund to seducing businesses to southwest Virginia. Gilmore promptly countered with the fact that he had spent several tens of millions in that fund west of Marion – even after I gave him the out of asking if he meant Marion.

After a little fact checking with the state’s economic development arm, it turns out that he spent more like less than $10 million west of Roanoke. Roanoke, incidentally, is about 100 miles east of Marion.

This – among several other chapters in Gilmore’s four-year success story – leads me to believe that Gilmore’s map of Virginia west of Roanoke consists of a blank area captioned with “Thar be sea monsters beyond!”

It’s not that Gilmore is a Republican and his opponent is a Democrat. It’s that Jim Gilmore has to be one of the dumbest, out-of-touch people ever to be governor of Virginia. I could name three Republican governors of this state who, in their worst ever days each could show without effort the decency, grace and intelligence that would turn James Gilmore into a pillar of salt.

Please, Jim, take the advice of Biff from “Back to the Future” and just make like a tree and GET OUTTA HERE!

May 21, 2008

What really disappointed me was . . .

Filed under: bald white guys, bloodsuckers, dumbasses, Florida, humor, music, scumbags — Tags: , , , , , — Frontier Former Editor @ 1:29 pm

that he didn’t get the 25 years for being a boy band creator.

Boy-band mogul Lou Pearlman sentenced to 25 years in federal prison (Orlando Sentinel)

“. . . Boy-band mogul Lou Pearlman was sentenced this morning to 25 years in federal prison for running a lengthy, systematic con that artificially inflated his net worth and cheated people out of $300 million . . . Pearlman, 53, was once the toast of Orlando. His financial empire once included popular musical acts the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync; an airplane-charter business; and Church Street Station, an iconic piece of real estate in Orlando’s downtown.”

“On June 14, federal investigators tracked Pearlman down in the lush resort town of Bali, Indonesia, registered at a hotel under the name A. Incognito Johnson.”

Maybe he can form a new boy band in prison. He could start here.

May 8, 2008

Sliding scale of public indignation . . .

Filed under: bald white guys, Bush, doomed to repeat, Dubya, history, old times, semi humor — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Frontier Former Editor @ 9:55 pm

or, I’m feeling rather derivative today.

First, to get warmed up for all of this, go read the post and thread over at Max’s blog. It’ll warm your heart if you’re over 40 and give you a valuable cultural lesson if you’re under 40.

Second, go to Raincoaster, get a dish of calamari, and read up on some of the hijinks (a and b) of my favorite Russian carp/megalomaniac prince of Mother Russia.

 

Okay, now back to Kolchak.

One of the more delicious TV scandals of my youth was the hue and cry – especially in TV Guide – about “The Night Stalker” episode “Chopper.” All of that outcry that week in 1974 or 1975 was over a scene in which a head rolled – literally. You couldn’t really see that it was a head, just a blurry suggestion that someone was decapitated . It was as if the Hays Board came back to life and was ready to decree that married couples couldn’t appear on television in the same bed unless each spouse had a foot on the floor.

Three decades later, the FCC is levying fines for bare ass on the ABC network show ‘NYPD Blue’ – five years after the scene appeared on the air. If you’re particularly interested in the scene, go here (NSFW). It really won’t tell you much that you probably don’t already know about human anatomy.

 

Now for Prince Vlad.

Long before Putin, and a fair while before the KGB and the Soviet Union, there was an interesting Russian character – Pyotr Stolypin, a prime minister under Tsar Nicholas II. Stolypin, like Putin, had a clear vision of what he wanted Russia to become, and he executed that vision so well that he even had a fashionable piece of neckwear named after him: the Stolypin necktie. His necktie was usually displayed on large wooden racks on platforms with handy trapdoors.

Now, for the purposes of this post, I’m not passing judgement on Stolypin or Putin for their methods, but comparing their respective methods leaves a couple of conclusions. Putin is behaving exactly as one could expect a Russian to behave, and Bush and Cheney would make pisspoor Russians.

 

Tonight’s moral: if something makes you outraged or indignant, take a deep breath. It’s probably happened plenty of times before you were born and will probably happen several times more after you die.

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