Arrrrr . . . . thump
April 13, 2009
March 17, 2009
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?
March 15, 2009
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
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.
December 13, 2008
And what more appropriate show than ‘Chicago’?
I’m accepting new lyrics . . .
August 31, 2007
Greg Gibson/Associated Press, 1997
ATLANTA, Aug. 29 — Richard A. Jewell, whose transformation from heroic security guard to Olympic bombing suspect and back again came to symbolize the excesses of law enforcement and the news media, died Wednesday at his home in Woodbury, Ga. He was 44.
The cause of death was not released, pending the results of an autopsy that will be performed Thursday by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. But the coroner in Meriwether County, about 60 miles southwest of here, said that Mr. Jewell died of natural causes and that he had battled serious medical problems since learning he had diabetes in February.
One of the times I was ashamed to be a journalist . . . .
August 30, 2007
Hey Larry, this song did wonders for Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman. Maybe one day everybody’ll stop talkin about you . . .
(Chapter VII, pp 79-82)
At this point, the police may have made an error in reaching a premature conclusion that their initial lead was a good one, or at least in conveying that impression to the Virginia Tech administration. While continuing their investigation, they did not take sufficient action to deal with what might happen if the initial lead proved false. They conveyed to the university Policy Group that they had a good lead and that the person of interest was probably not on campus.
(That is how the Policy Group understood it, according to its chair and other members who were interviewed by the panel and who presented information at one of its open hearings.)
After two people were shot dead, police needed to consider the possibility of a murderer loose on campus who did a double slaying for unknown reasons, even though a domestic disturbance was a likely possibility. The police did not urge the Policy Group to take precautions, as best can be understood from the panel’s interviews.
August 23, 2007
I don’t even have to get drunk to be incoherent these days . . . I just open my mouth and start typing.
We’re in week two of a nice little heat wave that has gone far beyond dog days. More like “someone’s going to go over the edge and kill someone else” days.
We’ve already had one interesting little domestic tiff in my neck of the woods that added a Faulknerian or Tennessee Williams motif to the weather. Nothing special compared to the rest of the country, but something to break the routine around here.
And I still sit here wandering between the niceties of C++ and trying to keep my sanity.
My father spent some quality time in the hospital earlier this month after a confluence of bursitis, a cyst in his calf muscle, diabetic complications and other little things that resulted in his collapsing after I brought him home from a doctor’s appointment.
If anything makes you doubt your own mortality in a big damned hurry, try watching the senior chief petty officer who kept your ass in line learning to walk again and thanking you every minute just for spotting for him as he tries to make it out of a chair or up a couple of stairs. He’s going to be okay in a month or so, but it’s just the thing to knock one’s world into a cocked hat.
Today, we took him for the latest round of a year’s worth of eye surgery. He now probably will see better than I will for the rest of my life, but the capper of the day was sitting at a drive-in with him, eating a burger, drinking a milkshake and realizing that the last time we’d done that together was about 33 years ago.
I’m going to go give myself a dope slap and get back to abnormal now.