Category Archives: Blog

Sorry Haiti – No Health Insurance – No Healthcare

I was wondering how long it would be before our healthcare system settled into a realization that the Haitian earthquake victims have no health insurance.  It’s finally happened.  The Governor of the great State of Florida,  has called for clarification from the feds on who will be paying for the earthquake victims being delivered into his state’s hospital system.   Evacuations from Haiti to the U.S. have been stopped cold.

 “A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services said the decision to suspend the flights was made by the military, not the federal health department. A military spokesman said that the military had ended the flights because hospitals were becoming unwilling to take patients.

“The places they were being taken, without being specific, were not willing to continue to receive those patients without a different arrangement being worked out by the government to pay for the care,” said Maj. James Lowe, the deputy chief of public affairs for the United States Transportation Command.”  -NY Times

While the feds try and sort out the question of who will finance Haitian health care, the New York Times quotes a doctor involved in the evacuation effort as saying, “People are dying in Haiti because they can’t get out.”

Wakeup call:  People are dying here in the U. S. too.

According to a study conducted by the Harvard Medical School, 45,000 Americans die each year due to a lack of health insurance.   Imagine that.   Forty five thousand a year.  In America.  Because they can’t afford health insurance.   Every two to three years as many Americans die from a lack of health insurance as the number of people who have died in the Haitian earthquake.   And the Congress can’t agree on a plan for healthcare reform.

We need to resume the evacuations and do all we can for Haiti, because it’s the right thing to do.  While we’re at it we might try and take care of ourselves as well.


Add – The White House announced on Sunday the 31st, that the military would resume the medical evacuation flights.

Stop The Presses

 Osama bin Laden

photo: wiki commons

Newsflash:   One of the world’s great ecologists and renowned environmental scientists, Osama bin Laden, has declared global warming to be real.   Finally.  Now we can all stop arguing about that.

In Wichita, a man who admitted to murdering a doctor by shooting him in the head in the foyer of a church where he was serving as an usher  has been convicted of murder, after the court decided that killing a defenseless person with a gun meets the legal definition of first degree murder.  The defense had argued that it does not.

In Baltimore, President Obama took Republican lawmakers to task for opposing him on nearly every proposal he has come up since his birth in August of 1961.  Including tax cuts.  Which he came up with in June of 1964.  (They weren’t big enough to suit the Republicans)  Now that they have been spanked, we can all look forward to the Republicans doing an about-face,  putting politics aside and working hand-in-glove with Mr. Obama in a new spirit of cooperation.  Oh joy, oh joy.

Toyota has announced that it will tell around 4.2 million customers worldwide what they can do about the sticky gas pedal problem that appears to have popped up in some Toyotas–next week.  Until then, best of luck to you all.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced the recall of “The Princess and The Frog” pendants from Walmart stores, because they contain unsafe levels of cadmium.   The pendants were made in……..wait for it……China!   The world’s leader in product safety for children.

I must now leave you to call the pharmacy.  I’m running out of Xanax.

A Trip To The Woodshed

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Mr. Obama last night.  I knew he’d talk about a freeze on discretionary spending, which I really don’t understand.  It has the appearance of being nothing more than an attempt at throwing a bone to the Republicans,  who have proven themselves to be immutable.

The government is so deadlocked and broken, that I’m not sure anything short of a third party will be able to save us and I don’t see anyone with the money to make that happen stepping up to the plate. So the State of the Union address amounted to a number of good ideas that will probably be blocked at every turn by political bickering as Republicans continue their push to return to power.

Given a little time, they’ll probably get what they want.  Much of the media has been neutered and the memory of American voters is notoriously lacking.  They’ve pretty much already forgotten that we were delivered into this abysmal black hole of political and economic misery by eight years  of George W. Bush and a Republican majority in Congress.

The fact that Mr. Obama now has a congressional majority but still faces a blockade from a coalition of Republicans and “Blue Dog” Democrats, only points to just how badly our system has been bought off by the bribe money of corporate lobbyists.

I did though, thoroughly enjoy the spectacle of watching while the President took the five conservative members of the Supreme Court out to the woodshed for their decision to officially sanction corporate control of the American political system. 

The system may be broken and bleeding but that was a golden moment.

Beyond that, I refer you to an excellent and impartial analysis by Doyle McManus in the Los Angeles Times.  

The iPad

 Apple calls its new iPad a “magical” device.  Click here for a review from the Economist, or jump down the page a bit for some of what Apple has to say about the new product and a slice of video from the unveiling with Steve Jobs.


SAN FRANCISCO—January 27, 2010—Apple® today introduced iPad, a revolutionary device for browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading e-books and much more. iPad’s responsive high-resolution Multi-Touch™ display lets users physically interact with applications and content. iPad is just 0.5 inches thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds— thinner and lighter than any laptop or netbook. iPad includes 12 new innovative apps designed especially for the iPad, and will run almost all of the over 140,000 apps in the App Store. iPad will be available in late March starting at the breakthrough price of just $499.

“iPad is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iPad creates and defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before.”

iPad features 12 next-generation Multi-Touch applications. Every app works in both portrait and landscape, automatically animating between views as the user rotates iPad in any direction. The precise Multi-Touch interface makes surfing the web on iPad an entirely new experience, dramatically more interactive and intimate than on a computer. Reading and sending email is fun and easy on iPad’s large screen and almost full-size “soft” keyboard. Import photos from a Mac®, PC or digital camera, see them organized as albums, and enjoy and share them using iPad’s elegant slideshows. Watch movies, TV shows and YouTube, all in HD or flip through pages of an e-book you downloaded from Apple’s new iBookstore while listening to your music collection.  -Apple

Acorn Redux And The NBC Nightly……News?

 Senator Mary Landrieu

Sen. Mary Landrieu

The man who set up the phony Acorn “sting” has been arrested in New Orleans after he and three others allegedly took part in a scheme that involved two of the four posing as telephone repair personnel to gain entrance to the office of  Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.

Alleging a plot to tamper with phones in Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office in the Hale Boggs Federal Building in downtown New Orleans, the FBI arrested four people Monday, including James O’Keefe, 25, a conservative filmmaker whose undercover videos at ACORN field offices severely damaged the advocacy group’s credibility”

“…a plot to tamper with phones” could be interpreted to mean an alleged attempt at bugging the phone lines of a United States Senator.  Serious stuff.  You have to wonder whether these guys are on their own or working for someone else.


Late add-

I’ve just watched the NBC Nightly News.  Or what passes for it.  About half the show was taken up with updates on Haiti.  The lead, was the Toyota recall.  Big time recall, they reported, impacting thousands of Toyota owners with production lines shutting down all over the country.   Thousands of cars out there with potential accelerator problems.  The NBC reporter told us that we should understand just how serious this story is, because one of their reporters on CNBC is saying it’s a serious story.  Oh, my.  That is serious, isn’t it?  Or was your only intention to give CNBC a plug?  Sounded like it…

Thing is, there was NOT ONE WORD about what Toyota owners are supposed to do now.  Should they wait for a recall notice?  Should they take their cars into their local dealership?   Should they fear for their lives if they turn the key and start their cars?  NOT ONE WORD from NBC News, about what their viewers should do now.

But that’s not why I was watching the NBC Nightly News.  I was watching because I wanted an update on the story about the break-in and bugging attempt at the office of Senator Mary Landrieu.  But they didn’t cover it.   There was nothing.  NOT ONE WORD.   How sad.


Later still-

The AP is reporting that the 4 men charged in connection with the alleged phone-bugging scheme shared a common background as  “young ideologues writing for conservative publications.”  They have been charged with entering federal property under false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony.  The maximum penalty is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

A Prince Of An Idea?

 Prince Frederic and Zsa Zsa

Hunter S. Thompson had a line about things never getting quite strange enough to suit his needs.  That being the case, I can’t imagine why he never settled here in California.   Woody Creek, Colorado, has to be downright sedate compared to the Golden State.  Hunter, who ran for sheriff up in Woody Creek, belonged here.

Think about it.  The Terminator is about to leave office due to “term limits.”  Get it?  “Term limits?”  And who is stepping up to the plate to replace Mr. Schwarzenegger?  None other than the 9th husband of Zsa Zsa Gabor, Prince Frederic von Anhalt!”   According to KNX Radio, he is running as an independent and is armed with a platform that includes legalizing marijuana.

“His campaign platform, which is titled “Return the Good Life to California,” would “create a Sin Tax” to generate money on the legalization of marijuana, add a 10-cent tax on every drink sold in a restaurant, and “add a buck to every liquor bottle and pack of cigarettes sold.” He would also like to open the border with Mexico and lift the ban on Cuban cigars and products.” -KNX Radio

Getting his name on the ballot will require 10,000 signatures by the end of June.  With a sidekick like Zsa Zsa (Miss. Hungary of 1936) he just might get it done.  I’ll never forget her cop slapping trial in Beverly Hills and what she said when I asked about the incident that took place during a traffic stop.   “Dahlink, vhat could I do?  He had a gun in his pocket,”  she said.

Zsa Zsa, sweetheart, you’re the best, but I doubt your husband’s candidacy will pick up much support from the Fraternal Order of Police.

There’s no way of knowing whether it factors into the Prince’s announcement, but reports in January of 2009 point to the royal couple losing as much as $10 million to convicted pyramid scheme swindler Bernard Madoff.   At one point they appeared to be facing financial ruin.

“Mr Anhalt, the actress’s ninth husband, said: “We might be forced to sell our Bel-Air home, cars, artwork and even our jewellery because of this sick man.”   During a routine check on the couple’s finances, a loss was identified and forensic accountants now believe the missing millions were invested with the accused fraudster through a third-party manager.” -TimesOnline (UK)

Later reports indicated that a relative of the Prince may have stepped in with enough money to help the couple out of their financial delimma.

“Marcus Prinz von Anhalt, German brothel owner and adopted son of her husband Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, helped out with a cheque for over 6 million dollars.” Wikipedia

While his highness the Prince eyes the Governor’s Office, our current Governor has come up with a new idea on saving money while dealing with prison overcrowding.

“We can do so much better, in the prison system alone, if we can go and take inmates – for instance, the 20,000 inmates that are illegal immigrants that are here – and get them to Mexico,” Schwarzenegger said.

“We pay them to build a prison down in Mexico and then we have those undocumented immigrants be down there in the prison,” he added. “Half the cost to build the prisons and half the cost to run the prisons. That is money, again, a billion dollars right there that can go into higher education. That is an example of one of the things we do that is unnecessary spending.”  -Sacramento Bee

Send undocumented prisoners to Mexico?  A number of people will probably think that’s a really good idea.

Send Zsa Zsa to the statehouse?  Why not?   Winston Churchill, magnificent orator that he was, wouldn’t be able to impact that politically deadlocked mess up in Sacramento.  Maybe Zsa Zsa Gabor will.  She is a force of nature.  A 92-year-old force of nature, but a force, nonetheless.

I wonder what the protocol will be when addressing our next governor,  His Royal Highness and Governor, Prince Frederic von Anhalt?

God, how I love California.

How Not To Run A Campaign

Marcy Winograd
  handout photo

According to NBC News,  democrat Marcy Winograd, (who wants to replace Jane Harmon as Congresswoman from the 36th District in CA), has sent letters to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Spielberg, Julia Roberts, John Travolta and other celebs, asking them to sign pledges to stop flying their private jets out of the Santa Monica Airport.   The idea, apparently, is to cut air pollution in West Los Angeles.

She suggests the celebs use a different airport, such as Van Nuys.  Now there’s a good idea!  Transfer flights (and the noise and air pollution)  from Santa Monica to Van Nuys, which already happens to be the busiest general aviation airport in the country.

The Santa Monica Daily Press reports,  “Since sending the pledges out on Monday, Winograd is yet to receive a response. She said if none of the celebrities signs the pledge within a week she’ll follow up with phone calls and may pass out fliers publicizing her request at events the celebrities attend. As she learns of more celebrities who regularly use the airport she said she’ll send out more requests for pledges not to use SMO.” 

You can be sure that with limited hanger space and the importance of airport location, all the celebs she’s sending letters to will appreciate her suggestion.   I’m sure they’re writing out fat checks in support of her campaign right now.  Not that any of these high-roller celebs are traditionally big contributors to democratic campaigns.

Those of us who live in the San Fernando Valley are sure to appreciate her “thinking” too.   In fact, maybe we can get a real air war going.  You send your celebrity jets over here and we’ll send our big business jets and the more than half-dozen tv news choppers that fly out of Van Nuys over to Santa Monica.  Your high end hangers will be busting with even bigger jets than the ones you sent over the hill while the tv news choppers fly non-stop from early morning to late at night.   Not that you should care about us inferior folk here in the Valley.  All 1.76 million of us.  How about sending us some of your homeless and robbery suspects as well?  Just clean out everything you don’t want on the west side and dump it on the Valley.  Great cooperation and outstanding civic-minded thinking.  Thank you very much.

Looking For Fearless Leader

I discovered the contemporary anarchist movement in America while covering the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Seattle in 1999.    At the time, I was hit by a blast of  culture shock as I watched what appeared to be college-age kids dressed in black and wearing face masks, spray painting anarchist slogans on walls in downtown Seattle while the local PD loaded their non-lethal weapons with tear gas rounds.   I asked around and was told there was a strong anarchist movement at the University of Oregon but that most of the people who had come to Seattle to protest were not hardcore anarchists.  However, the anarchists with their anarchist ways, I was told,  were going to make it impossible for anybody to stage a peaceful protest.  That appeared to be true as the cops began strapping on state-of-the-art body armor.  The Seattle cops appeared to have the best of everything and it looked as though they were about to use it.

But, anarchists?

All I could think of was Boris and Natasha and their “fearless leader” from the old “Rocky & Bullwinkle” show.  The line “Daahlink, vee must keel moose and squirrel” kept echoing through my head.  None of it was making sense.

A few months later, the anarchists popped up again.  This time, they were in training in the hills of Calabasas, just above Malibu.  As I recall, they were getting ready for the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles.  I remember going up there to interview Tom Hayden.  The reason for the interview escapes me, but he was surely running for something.  I remember thinking how peculiar it was for Hayden to believe that an association with the anarchist movement would help his political status.  I also remember Hayden’s run for the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office in 97.    At the time I questioned him about whether he was “business friendly” enough, and whether business people shouldn’t fear his candidacy.   “Yes, they should be afraid of me” he answered.  He was hammered in the election by Richard Riordan, a friend to big business who promised to build the economy.   I remember wondering how Hayden could be so clueless.  Why would he say something that would so obviously cost him millions of votes?  Doesn’t he know that telling the truth loses elections?

Anyway, here he was again, this time at an anarchist training camp. They had a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean from their tents pitched high in the Santa Monica Mountains.  Once an “SDS” member, always an SDS member, I guess.  You’d have to ask Tom Hayden.  I tried to find out on that clear day high above Malibu but he refused to talk about his past as a national leader of student protests and later as a husband to Jane Fonda.

And now comes the “Anarchist Book Fair” in Los Angeles.  Yes, they had their own book fair and it was covered by the LA Times.

“If the several hundred people who attended the Los Angeles Anarchist Book Fair on Sunday had been asked to explain their political identity, they would have given several hundred different answers.” -Kate Linthicum in the LAT’s

I am from the 60’s.  I understand protest and civil disobedience.  I was here for Vietnam, Kent State, the march on Washington and Woodstock.  I am simpatico people, but the whole anarchy thing seems so, well…..Victorian and frankly, more than a little confused.  I guess different generations express themselves in different ways.   I wonder who their fearless leader is?    I wonder what Tom Hayden’s up to?

Assault In New Orleans

I was born and raised in the gopher state and I worked on the old “Bud Grant Show” on KSTP-TV in Minneapolis way back when, so I feel more than a little connected to the Minnesota Vikings.   However, I hesitate to become emotionally invested in the team because of their habit of knocking on the door to a Superbowl victory only to get their teeth kicked in at the last minute.

That’s not going to happen this year.  There’s no chance at the Superbowl following yesterday’s loss to New Orleans.  Thing is, I’m not so sure it was the Vikings fault.   It was obvious from the first few plays, that the Saints were out to do everything and anything they possibly could to injure Vikings QB Brett Favre short of beating the poor guy to death with truncheons.   I know it’s a physical game.  I know all that, but this was ridiculous.   The unnecessary beating he took will probably end up claiming several years off the back end of his life.

Is there no rule in the NFL regarding late hits?  I’ve never seen a QB get slaughtered with late hits the way the Saints were hitting Favre.  And the refs?  Did they have a meeting before the game and decide they were going to turn a blind eye to hits on Favre after he had thrown the ball?  And what about using helmets as a weapon?  Isn’t there a rule against helmet hits as well?  Let’ see…..yes, there is.  Again, where were the refs, and for that matter, where were the Vikings coaches?  Why weren’t they yelling about all of this as the Saints continued breaking or at least bending the rulebook into pretzels to beat, batter and bludgeon their 40 year old quarterback who just kept sucking it up and coming back for more?

What happened to Favre wasn’t football.  It was assault.  If what happened in New Orleans yesterday is okay by the NFL rulebook, then it’s time for the NFL to rewrite the book on helmet tackles and unnecessary roughness.  I think the commissioner was there and possibly watching the game?

Brown Swept In On A “Populist Wave?” Really?

 Scott Brown

  photo: cosmo magazine

Was just watching the network news on CBS and I heard the anchor say the reason nude model truck drivin’ regular guy Scott Brown defeated Martha Coakley, was a “populist wave.”  Oh really?  I’ve been reading that Coakley did everything she could to throw away the election, from overestimating her power back at the beginning when she had a 20 point lead to refusing to go out and campaign to  losing a debate with some really, really bad answers.   In short, she apparently ran a horrible campaign which, some are saying, amounted to a non-campaign.

Some  of the Republican pundits are charging that the Democratic Party is “throwing Coakley under the bus.”  The truth appears to be that she ran out in the middle of the road and waited for the bus to come along and run her down.  One complaint from the right, that Coakely left on a vacation just 20 days before the election, was never adequately refuted by the Coakely camp.  If she was away on vacation, she shouldn’t have been, and if she wasn’t, then she should have refuted the claim.  Either way, it was another problem for her campaign.  Nobody wants a jockey who jumps off the horse in the final turn.  It makes no sense.  Anyway, how can you lose in a blue state like Massachusetts, after being endorsed by Vicki Kennedy and the Boston Globe?  You’ve really gotta work at it (or do far too little, which appears to be what happened here).

Note to the Democratic Party:   It’s a real bad idea to let America think  Brown won due to a “populist wave” if that’s not what actually happened, because it portrays your party as having fallen out of favor with the American people.  If on the other hand, Coakley threw away the election, then you had better try harder to set the record straight unless you want to let your Republican opponents portray this as a “populist wave” with the potential of sweeping over the nation.  CBS, it appears, has already been swept away by what seems to be blatant disinformation.   Is there still a DNC out there or has it been disbanded?

As for me, I just switched over to Lester Holt on NBC.

Biden’s In Baghdad, Conan’s On The Beach, Cows Under Attack In NY

Following a week of on-again, off-again rainfall,  Los Angeles is finally being given a couple of days to dry out.    The Nat’l Weather Service says we won’t see more rain until Tuesday, with a 60% probability of  “showers.”

VP Joe Biden is in Baghdad, where he has made a pledge that the U.S. will appeal a decision that let five Blackwater guards off the hook for a shooting of 17 Iraqis in 2007.   The Blackwater guys were guarding our diplomats at the time.  These are our private soldiers.  Our mercenaries, sent to Iraq by the Rumsfeld/Cheney/Wolfowitz & Bush Administration.  This case, which has us attempting to  haul our own people back into court after they have been found not guilty of manslaughter is the kind of mess you can expect when you try and privatize a war.  It’s just one more reason for the United States to get out of Iraq as soon as is reasonably possible.   We cannot fix their troubles, they don’t want us there, let’s get the hell out.

It’s not a question of wearing out our welcome.  It’s a question of no one wanting us there in the first place and the United States having no valid reason to go.   Just a curtain of lies stitched together by a few Iraqi ex-pats who thought they could go back in and take over the country, if only the U.S. could be duped into sending in its troops to overthrow Saddam Hussein.  Our ongoing presence only continues to tarnish our image and drain our finances.

The political and theocratic mess the country is in is highlighted by the fact that now you can’t even get a beer in Baghdad.   The LA Times reports that a prohibition against alcoholic beverages is in place in spite of constitutionally guaranteed “freedoms.”

“Our new constitution guarantees all freedoms for all Iraqi people,” said Ahmed Jassim Hamza, whose Deluxe nightclub on the Tigris River was among those raided by soldiers and ordered to close. “But the political powers in control are Islamic, and they can’t handle social freedoms such as alcohol because their minds are narrowed by religion.”  -L.A. Times


From my former colleagues at KTLA-TV comes a tweet on a story I had to re-read, due to it’s bizarre nature.

“COPAKE, N.Y. — State police in New York say an upstate dairy farmer shot and killed 51 of his milk cows in his barn before turning the rifle on himself.

State police found the body of 59-year-old Dean Pierson in his Copake barn on Thursday. A visitor found a note Pierson had left on the barn door that said not to come in and to call police.

State police would only say that Pierson was having personal issues.” -KTLA

The story ends by saying the locals didn’t want to talk about the incident, but one did say that these are difficult times for farmers.


From Washington, the AP is reporting that President Obama ‘can’t imagine “anything more devastating to the public interest” than the Supreme Court’s decision to ease limits on campaign spending by corporations and labor unions.’

I keep waiting for more of the local broadcast media to pick up on this story, as this decision by the Supremes will undoubtedly turn out to be one of the most important decisions the high court has ever made.  Thing is, many broadcast news outlets just don’t like politics.

Politics is difficult to explain and there aren’t a lot of pretty pictures you can use with the story.  Things like tornadoes tearing apart a town or cops in pursuit of a murder suspect with lots of red lights flashing.  It’s what those of us in the news biz used to call “eye candy.”  Anything to grab the viewers attention to get the ratings up.

Politics, is just way too difficult to understand and even more difficult to explain in a way that will enable most folks to grasp how and why their lives are being controlled by a gang of politicians on Capitol Hill who are supposed to answer to “we the people,” and not a handful of corporate wonks.   Corporations are not people.  Or maybe, now they are?  Not that it matters.   Let them all go back into their coma.  When the awaken, if they awaken, the damage will have been done and they won’t know who to blame.  They’ll probably try and pin on Bill Clinton again.  Worked the first time.

Don’t want to get too cynical here.  I was lectured last night by Conan O’Brien, as he did his last “Tonight Show” for NBC, advising his fans (and others) that he just can’t stand cynicism.  Right, Conan.  So you say, as you exit the building with a check for $45-million in your pocket after a run of only 7 months,  starting each show by licking your fingers, smoothing your eyebrows and then tweaking your nipples.   What a class act.   This is what happens when network bosses try and keep advertisers happy by going after the youth market.    The franchise that Steve Allen and Johnny Carson built falls to pieces.   Perhaps the tv execs should concentrate on getting back into the business of broadcasting by going after the broadest slice of the audience possible?  That’s why they call it broad-casting, dummy.   Oops.  Getting cynical again.

Goodbye To Air America

 Al Franken at Air America

The Washington Post reports that Air America Radio is declaring bankruptcy and leaving the air.   It appears the liberal talk-radio network that once was home to Al Franken and Rachel Maddow, will go off the air at 9PM on Monday.  Until then,  just reruns.

“It was troubled almost from the start. The company had difficulty lining up affiliates and attracting a sizable audience. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy-court protection just 30 months after its inception and was resold to an investor group in early 2007 for $4.25 million.

Charlie Kireker, one of Air America’s principal owners and its chairman, said in a memo to employees Thursday that the company was done in by “a perfect storm” of plunging ad revenues, intense competition, high debt and poor prospects for new financing. A search for new investors, he said, has been fruitless. The company declined further comment.”-Washington Post

A Supremely Questionable Decision

6:32 PM in Los Angeles.  Rain is falling,  as the third (or fourth, I’ve lost count) storm comes in from the Pacific Ocean.  It’s a nasty kind of rainfall, interspersed with tiny hail.  The kind of stuff that stings like daggers against your bare skin, should you dare and venture outside.  It’s a frightening situation for homeowners in the foothill areas who wonder if the next bit of rain will be enough to saturate the hills to the point that they begin sliding up and over and through their homes in La Canada/Flintridge and Glendale.

I’m not sure which is worse, the potential devastation from mudslides, or the righteous indignation of Keith Olbermann.

Keith was just on the air railing against the Supreme Court’s decision to let corporate America provide unlimited funding to  federal candidates.   Sometimes Olbermann gets a little carried away.  I hope that’s the case with his tirade against this decision by the supremes, but I’m afraid he’s probably got it spot on.

The five conservatives on the court, the same folks that shut down the vote count and foisted George W. Bush upon the nation, are now giving us a new corporate world order whether we like it or not.

Shouldn’t the question of whether democracy in America will be abandoned in favor of corporate control be put in the form of a national referendum?   Shouldn’t the future of a free people be decided by those same free people and not five conservative judges inside the beltway?   What the hell is going on here?

I’m having thoughts that this terribly wrong-headed decision could result in a  “Rollerball”  kind of world.  Remember the movie “Rollerball” starring James Caan?  A movie depicting a society controlled by multi-national corporations that keep the common folk in line with international roller derby contests.  A superficial excitement that deflects the masses concerns about how empty their lives are by creating a facade of nationalism based upon the intense interest over which “countries” team will win the game.  The only real interest in the new world order of course,  is corporate interest.  Remember that?  If you listen to Keith, you’ll be left with the impression, that we are headed directly into a rollerball future.   For those who love freedom, it’s as bad as anything Orwell dreamed up.  I prefer to cling to Thornton Wilder’s idea, that somehow we’ll get through this mess, even if it is only by “the skin of our teeth.”

However, I’m afraid Orwell may have been the more pragmatic of the two.

While we ponder where we are going with absolutely no constraints on the amount of cash corporations can use to buy the White  House and the Congress (officially sanctioned unlimited bribe money) we do still have a sitting President who appears to be tying to fight back against the approaching tide of……what?  The loss of the democratic process in America?   As Olbermann said, “who’s gonna stop um?”  Here is the statement from the White House.


The White House

For Immediate Release

January 21, 2010

Statement from the President on Today’s Supreme Court Decision

With its ruling today, the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics. It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans. This ruling gives the special interests and their lobbyists even more power in Washington–while undermining the influence of average Americans who make small contributions to support their preferred candidates. That’s why I am instructing my Administration to get to work immediately with Congress on this issue. We are going to talk with bipartisan Congressional leaders to develop a forceful response to this decision. The public interest requires nothing less.


Just watched the late news on the CBS affiliate here in Los Angeles.  Lots of weather coverage, a story about sick pelicans, a Roman Polanski sex story,  a John and Elizabeth Edwards sex story, weather photos viewers sent the station (news coverage the tv station doesn’t have to pay for) and lots of cheerful banter but not a word about one of the most important Supreme Court decisions in decades.   Maybe they didn’t hear about it?

The Nice Side Of Nasty Simon

 Simon Cowell

    photo: wiki commons

American Idol judge Simon Cowell, says he’ll be putting out a single in the next seven to ten days with proceeds going to Haitian relief.  The goal, according to Cowell, is to raise as much money as possible as quickly as possible.

“Performers have yet to be chosen, but may include British singers Susan Boyle, Leona Lewis and Cheryl Cole, Cowell said.”  -AP