Posts Tagged ‘Column’

Journalism’s Dog Days Meltdown

August 7, 2009

Have all those Republican US Attorneys Generals, (the ones who are appointed by the President and not State Attorneys General who are elected) who caused a big fuss in the past, been replaced? 

Earlier this year, this columnist did a bit of fact checking online to learn what had happened to the Bush appointees.  A quick random search indicated that in January, before President Obama was inaugurated, those folks were given an extension into the new President’s term in office which was to last until they were either replaced or until early August of 2009.  A search as this column is being written shows that tracking down the information online would be a long tedious task.  Doing a Google News search to learn about any new replacements was inconclusive.  Have they been replaced or have they been grandfathered into a longer stay?

Times up!  If you can’t say right now, then you may never know.

If the New York Times and/or the Washington Post haven’t updated the saga of the Bush Posse residing in the various US Attorneys General offices across the land, then surely some of the top bloggers will (as they did with the original story) send up a collective howl that will force the mainstream media to get the Republican talking points concerning either the new appointees or the extension of the incumbents’ tour of duty.

Sure, this columnist could put in a week or two of nothing but online fact checking and, perhaps, come up with something that either:  a) confirms his worst suspicions or b) results in a list of the new replacements. 

Either result won’t do a darn thing to diminish the nations’ top journalists pride in their own efforts to keep freedom of the press a valued American tradition.  What anyone else does is irrelevant to those pretty people.

If they don’t get around to updating the attorneys general story this weekend, it’s only because they are so busy, with all the staff cuts and such, that they just couldn’t do it and rush the details of the new Supreme Court Justice story to their audiences. 

Then they are also busy helping their Republican sources spread the Astroturf movement to disrupt townhall meetings, reporting the comparisons of President Obama to Hitler, and the departure of Paula Abdul from American Idol.  Yikes!  There’s only 24 hours in each day and they can only cover a finite amount of news in that time period, so it seems that if they pass on the attorneys general updates, it would be very understandable.

Heck if the Talking Points Memo website broke the story originally shouldn’t they be the ones responsible for an update?

If Bush’s appointees manage to hold on to their jobs, do Americans really care?  They don’t seem to be too concerned with the 18 “enduring” bases in Iraq, the growing level of conflict in Afghanistan, and/or the possibility that many folks in countries around the world regard former president George W. Bush as an unindicted war criminal, so why should they care about a bunch of Republican sinecures?  

For those trolls who would like to challenge the statement that folks in other counties consider George W. Bush a war criminal, if you don’t believe it, then go to the Kings Cross section of Sydney in Australia (one of the U. S. most loyal allies – they have sent troops to every conflict which America has fought in the last 110 years) go into a locals bar (such as the Vegas) and proclaim your endorsement of the 43rd President and then see if you can get out of there without getting into an altercation.  Good luck.

Earlier this week this columnist heard Thom Hartman speak at the Santa Monica Public Library.  He raised several fascinating topics, such as Coral Peru, and mentioned in passing that the Muslim culture holds revenge as one of their social obligations.  He quickly added that it was ominous to note that since dozens (perhaps in the hundreds) of Iraqi and Afghanistani families have lost members due to the inadvertent collateral damage resulting from American air strikes, the war may continued until those disgruntle Muslims inflict their retaliatory damage on Americans. 

For folks who claim that the number of causalities in Iraq may be above a million, that tends to indicate that the two wars may have (like the ones in George Orwell’s 1984) become permanent perpetual conflicts.  Yikes!  Just think of the negative effect an eternal state of war would have on the “Peace on Earth” ceremonies at Yuletide.

Journalists are into the “dog days” and doing stories about other more “upbeat” topics such as the flood of tourists who are parading up and down the Ocean Front Walk at Venice Beach.  Should we do a column exploring the back-story of what and why and how the Bondi Beach Café wound up being situated just a quarter of a block away from the aforementioned Ocean Front Walk?  Is it time to go there and do a restaurant review?

Would it be worth the effort to do all the work necessary, if it turns out that United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (case 09-56073) really does result in a continuation of the saga of the first instance in American jurisprudence where a citizen, according to his supporters, has been <a href =>denied the writ of habius corpus</a>?  Yeah, it would be a biggie just because of the “first” aspect, but there would be a lot of work involved and wouldn’t more people want to read about the fortieth anniversary of Woodstock than plow through all the legalese that would be required to explain the intricacies of California’s <a href =>SBX 2 11</a> (enacted on Feb. 8) and how that applies to one lawyer who was disbarred? 

Isn’t it time for Tim Russert’s son to be promoted to appear on-air relaying Republican talking points to voters?

Which is more important for an obscure blogger:  doing the New York Times job for them or working on a good tan?  If you haven’t read any updates about the Bush appointees and their replacements, don’t send me any complaints and don’t send any to the public editor at the New York Times, either, because they only want letters about stories they have written.  They don’t want you bugging him with complaints about stories they haven’t written.  Don’t worry about it.  They’ll probably get another Pulitzer Prize next year for something.  So, don’t fret about a journalism meltdown.

Republican Attorneys General?  America’s first political prisoner?  Maybe it would be best to go up to San Francisco and report on the status of Donald Fisher’s art collection (or the whereabouts of the Beatmobile)?

Mark Twain said “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

Now, the disk jockey will play the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the City.”  We’ll go get some suntan lotion and (perhaps) see you on the Venice Beach?  Have a “hang ten” (wasn’t that the final score at the Nuremburg War Crimes Trial?) week.

Summer of our Discontent

August 1, 2009

When we returned from our (fist) trip to Australia on Inauguration day in January, this columnist was eagerly looking forward to summer (in the US) and the prospect that we would be writing about the war crimes trials of George W. Bush (and our disk jockey would be playing Hank Williams’ “Knock the Hell Out of You” song at the end of it) and his cronies , but it looks like there will be no such columns written this summer (or ever?) and most appropriate song would simply be “So Long, It’s been good to know ya.” It seems we will have to come up with a different idea for a summer column. 

Our question about where was the Queen Mary when Pearl Harbor was attacked got answered when we went down to the tourist attraction in Long Beach and talked to the Public Relations department who consulted the ship’s records and informed us that the ship spent from late November to mid December of 1941, in Trincomalee harbor.  It may have been there for some periodic maintenance.  That shot down our theory about that ship getting an order to evacuate from Pearl Harbor late on Saturday, December 6, 1941 and it caused us to learn that Trincomalee is a harbor on the coast of  Shri Lanka (which was then called the island of Ceylon.)  We planned a long and clever column about that excursion.  Without a war crime trial, it seemed that the need for writing that column was also considerably downgraded.  Folks in the US just don’t care that much about wars.

A few weeks ago, a visit to Homeboy Industries had us inspired to write a column all about it and adopt it as our favorite “good cause” and urge folks to donate money to them (after making an enormous donation to their favorite progressive web site fund raising drive) but somehow, despite all our good intentions, it didn’t get written.

Would a column about our disk jockey’s suggestions for assembling all the most appropriate songs for a Bush era soundtrack album be worth the effort?  Well, maybe after the Labor Day weekend, there will be more enthusiasm for the project.

While in Australia, we kept thinking about the fact that we were missing the Sunday Night Classic radio broadcast featuring Jimmy Kay.  We especially thought of that program while standing in the Record store in Fremantle and listening to the entire “At Folsom Prison” album.  It seemed that the further one gets from Folsom Prison, the better the album sounds.  We recently learned that the Sunday Night program went off the air and that a petition to help it get back on the air is available online.

How about a column about James Crowley?  Have you gotten your Crowley for Congress bumper sticker yet?  They don’t make them?  Wait a week.  They will.  How can the Republicans not love a guy who reminds this columnist of Sarah Palin?

When George W. Bush’s paperwork from his air National Guard days turned up missing, it was (to the conservatives leading the chorus of mainstream media) no big deal.  However, they just gotta see Obama’s birth certificate.  We thought about writing a column about the conservatives’ curious application of a double standard regarding old personal presidential documents.  Is this paragraph good enough?

Since we have managed to get a ride on the Goodyear Blimp and a B-17-G, when we got an e-mail recently saying that the Beat Museum (in San Francisco) has resurrected the Beatmobile, we came up with the idea of writing a clever column that would earn us an invitation to do a ride-along story about some of their adventures “on the road.”  We haven’t gotten around to writing that column yet.

Would it be inappropriate to mention here that the (car and truck) International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame is located in Chattanooga Tennessee?

That, in turn, reminded us that we are still trying to figure out how to get either Qantas, VAustralia, or United Airlines to donate a RT ticket to Australia for the next facet of our new columnist’s tradition of celebrating Christmas in the traditional Australia way (in a bathing suit on the beach) this December. 

That caused us to contemplate writing a column suggesting that maybe one of those air lines should run ads in December in (say) Buffalo, Boston, NYC, Chicago, and Minneapolis, featuring attractive lasses giving a live weather reports from both Bondi and Cottesloe beachs each night.  On a cold winter’s night in the northern part of the USA, it would be afternoon the next day on both of those beaches and the weather report alone should convince some folks that a vacation in Australia at that time of year ain’t a bad idea.

Rodney King once said:  “We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out.”  He was never invited to the White House for a beer.

Now, the disk jockey will play the fugs “Summer of Love.”  We gotta go send a news tip suggestion (about Richard Fine’s legal plight in L. A.) to Rolling Stone magazine.  Have a “retroactive amnesty” type week.

Would John Wayne have approved torturing prisoners?

July 1, 2009

The Republicans have commandeered the traditional trappings of patriotism and have laid claim to the use of any patriotism inspiring slogans, images, and or historic personalities, but we are going to risk their wrath and ask: Would John Wayne have endorsed torture? Since the conservatives like control the dialogue, they would try to foil all liberal attempts to make sense by throwing in a cheap diversionary move rather than answering the question. It seems quite likely they would respond to this question by asserting that the question breaks down into two versions Would the American icon known as John Wayne have condoned the torture of prisoners or would the actor, Marion Mitchell Morrison (AKA John Wayne), a well known conservative, have endorsed the enhanced questioning methods approved by the President of the United States?

Fans tend to think that the John Wayne icon’s code of ethics was summarized best in the line from “The Shootist:” “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people and I require the same from them.” (One assumes that means he wouldn’t want to be tortured as a prisoner and therefore wouldn’t inflict it on others if the situation were reversed.)

During World War II, Gino Merli’s position was overrun by German troops. Merli played dead. A German soldier wanted to make sure it was a dead American whose body he saw, so he stuck hi bayonet into the area Merli would have squashed if he sat down. Merli used self-control and convinced the German he was contending with a dead man. After the Germans passed by, Merli jumped up and used an automatic weapon to mow down a large number of German soldiers. He got a Medal of Honor and would have had a unique perspective for making pronouncements for or against inflicting pain to gain information. Do you honestly think Gino Merli would have endorsed torture to augment information gathering?

Initially we intended to run a longer list and look at other American heroes such as Sgt. York, Audi Murphy, General Custer (which tribe of Native Americans was noted for the quality of its torture?) and General Custer’s brother (who won two Medals of Honor) and see how they might possibly have answered the torture question, but since a Republican President started the torturing and since a new Democratic President seems to be giving his blessing to most of his predecessor’s war policies,, it would seem, now, to be a moot question. Why bother with hypothetical answers to something that ain’t gonna change?

Since there will be some technical and logistical challenges presented later in the week, this will be our “Happy Forth of July” Saturday morning column posted a bit early.

Don’t fritter away time worrying if John Wayne would or would not have sanctioned torture, just go out and celebrate Independence Day.

In “The Defendant,” G. K. Chesterton wrote: “‘My country, right or wrong,’ is a thing that no patriot would think of saying. It is like saying, ‘My mother, drunk or sober.'”

Now the disk jockey will play John Wayne’s recording “The Pledge of Allegiance.” We’re ready to go stake out a prime spot on the Venice Beach. Have a “full of patriotic pride” type week.

Did Kerouac have a role model?

June 26, 2009

Recently this columnist has been doing some fact-checking (not enough to jeopardize his standing as the World’s Laziest Journalist – just enough to keep himself amused on a quiet Summer afternoon) when we stumbled across the story of Will Parker contained in the October 16, 1939, issue of LIFE magazine.  The story (lest you forget) tells about the young man’s hitchhiking journey from San Francisco to New York City.  His travel pal, Hart Preston, took the photos used to illustrate the story of the pioneering hitchhiker.

Did Jack Kerouac read and become influenced by this pre-war adventure story?  He would have been about 17 years old in October of 1939.  Did he happen to read that particular issue of LIFE magazine?  Did Neal Cassidy?

This columnist, who was greatly influenced by Kerouac, recalls reading the Will Parker story in LIFE while doing some recreational reading during his college years, in the University library.  Was it as great an influence as the reading of “On the Road” and/or “Death in the Afternoon”?  Doesn’t it at least seem likely that Will Parker was one of the contributing factors?

Now matters get even murkier for the columnist because this information would be a very great topic for the readers at the Digihitch website, but previous attempts to jump through the digital hoops necessary to be able to cross post this column on that particular site, have proven to be an insurmountable obstacle.  Dang!  Woldn’t it have been marvelous to cross post some of the dispatches from Australia on that travel oriented site?

Which brings up this bit of insight:  when railroads were in the formative stage some brilliant planner advised them to facilitate the industry’s growth by adopting industry standards so that one company’s locomotives and passenger cars and box cars could avail themselves of travel opportunities on other firm’s right of way.  Universal standards gave them the bases for unlimited growth in the United States.   Is the fact that cross posting one column on three different sites causes some formatting challenges with each new venue, be a hint that the Internets still hasn’t learned the railroaders’ secret?  Could individual firms that want to have clients pay for their own unique scripting, be causing a “tower of babble” type delay in the growth of the Internets?

The Beat Museum in San Francisco, would probably find that a copy of this particular LIFE magazine would be a worthy addition to their library and or exhibition.  As luck would have it, while this installment of the Saturday Column was being written, we wandered into Hodgson’s Antiques in South Pasadena and found that they had copies of various issues of LIFE for sale, but, unfortunately, not the particular one with the Will Parker story in it.
Getting back to Will Parker (of the LIFE magazine fame), bloggers can find information and topics that haven’t been subjected to “overkill” on the Internet if they make an effort.   

Commenting on what paid pundits have just said, isn’t journalism and, quite often, it isn’t full of stunning insights and perceptive comments, but it is easier to do than actually going out and scrounging up original material. 

Take, for example, the topic of car-spotting.  If a columnist wants to use his own time and his own (or the one at the Pasadena Public Library?) computer for a bus-man’s holiday (15 yard penalty bad “on the road” pun!) and put some photos on his blog for Jersey Bill and a few other friends to see, then he has to go out and shoot some pictures.  Some of the pictures are not examples of Ansel Adams like technical perfection, but is there a market for sarcastic critical comments about car-spotting photos?  The only logical reaction to seeing photos on a car-spotting blog would be to go out in your own neighbor hood (such as Alameda?) and take and post your own photographs.  . 

What ever happened to Will Parker?  That question brings up a rather disturbing possibility and subsequent topic.  In 1939, what were the odds that a healthy young man of 21 would live to see his thirtieth birthday?  Did Darwin take into consideration for his “survival of the fittest” theory the fact that quite often humans send only their very best off to war leaving the home front to cope with survival of the species by providing the women with an available assortment of queers, former prisoners, mental defectives, and physically impaired men.  If Will Parker died in action, shouldn’t Jack Kerouac have, at least, mentioned him in the acknowledgements section of “On the Road”?

British Sci-fi writer John Christopher wrote about the intergalactic adventures of a young man named Will Parker, but we’ll leave it up to some future doctoral candidate in literature to assertain if there is a cause and effect link here or just a co-inky-dink.

Will Parker may have been a hitchhiking pioneer but he seems to disappear without a subsequent trace while the likes of Kerouac, Cassidey, and Alan Ginsburg were left to thrive and prosper among the hordes of lonely affection starved women in the United States.

The Will Parker issue of LIFE also had “mug shots” of the various new 1940 brands of cars in the Speaking of Pictures segment and featured a promotional story for the film titled “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

One of the “selling points” Parker used to help himself get rides was the fact that good current events chats were assured because he was carrying a portable radio on the journey that took 12 days and cost the traveler $23.60.

The photographer’s existence was basically ignored, which gives the story a bit of an “unrealistic” spin to it.
It’s obvious that this column isn’t an astounding example of the potential of the citizen journalist movement on the internet, but did you really want or need a columnist to add his voice to the chorus of disapproval the pundits have showered upon the Iranian elections and the American President’s response to it?  You do?  OK!  How about this:  Iran, that wasn’t very nice.  Shame on you.  Feel better now?

In summing up Will Parker’s adventure, the writer noted that Will Parker had by talking to the various 29 good Samaritans, who had given him a lift, conducted his own public opinion poll on the country’s mood.  On page 52, it was noted:  “Most were in favor of Social Security and keeping out of war.”  My how times have turned things around, since then, eh?

[Note:  does society change?  Wasn’t one of the few (only) newspapers which ran the death of Elvis Presley as the headline story on page one, the Santa Monica Evening Outlook?  Back then most newspapers didn’t want to compete with People magazine.]

Now, the disk jockey will play the Michael Jackson – Mick Jagger duet titled “State of Shock”  We’ll take a break.  Have a “moonwalk” type week.

Did Bush shave points?

June 19, 2009

Many moons ago (AKA the Fifties?), there was a scandal about college basketball players who “shaved” points. At the time, this columnist was so naïve that he figured as long as they didn’t let their team lose, it was OK. Later, as a more mature individual, who could appreciate the dishonesty of messing with the point spread and the impact that could have on the adventurous individuals who had place wagers on the outcome, it became obvious that not winning by the greatest amount possible was just as wrong as deliberately losing the contest.

Can any pundit seriously suggest that President George W. Bush may have been a mole for his family’s old business associate Osama bin Laden and “shaved points” in a way that helped make a victory in the search for WMD’s in Iraq impossible? The most fanatical of Bush critics cannot help but note that the quick road to “Mission Accomplished” was so textbook perfect and efficiently executed that only a “graybeard old loon” would dare to hint that the Baghdad Peace agreement was not only George W. Bush’s finest achievement, but also a direct result of one of the all-time great American military victories.

Didn’t Bush supply all the number of troops his generals requested?

Wasn’t Bush relentless in his attempts to capture bin Laden in the Tora Bora area?

Didn’t Bush go right to the main target? He swooped into the empty WMD store rooms and was just as surprised as anyone else when they found “the cupboard was bare.” Wasn’t bin Laden, Heussein’s ventriloquist’s dummy? Could any serious student of military history suggest that Bush’s invasion of Iraq was as foolish and inopportune as when Germany went out of its way to drag Russian into World War II?

One of Osama bin Laden’s aims was to cripple the American economy. Didn’t George W. Bush predict that Iraq was a piece of cake that could be handled quickly and efficiently and stick to that promise and not (as they say in Hollywood) go over budget?

Wasn’t his quick achievement of the Mission Accomplished goal done with blitzkrieg like efficiency so that the United States economy would not be crippled by a long, protracted and costly war? Didn’t George W. Bush studiously avoid all the errors made by the German guy precisely because he was haunted by the specter of the post war economy that left the WWII loosing country’s economy in a shambles? If you’ve seen the bonuses handed out around Wall Street recently, you wouldn’t have to ask about how America’s economic heath is doing.

To hear George W. Bush’s harshest critics, he and his cronies clung to illusions of victory much like the urban legends about remote islands in the Pacific that are still being run by Japanese military units who think they are valiantly holding out for the sake of the emperor.

George W. Bush’s goal was to import democracy into the Middle East, which had been a bastion of desert kingdoms and state sponsored theocracy. Today Americans can point with pride to the fact that elections were recently held in Iran and except for a few malcontents (like the Democrats who live in Florida) the triumph of Democracy in Iran is something which will make American hearts swell with pride. Despite what the communist agitators say, the results are (like Bush himself) unimpeachable.

Thanks to George W. Bush, President Obama has inherited a “to do list” which will afford him plenty of time for “date night” excursions and triumphant tours of the world where he will have plenty of practice for getting used to world wide adulation as Bush’s proxy.

The time has come for pundits to finally admit that George W. Bush didn’t lose the war, but, as Stephen Colbert so proudly proclaimed in Newsweek, decisively won the war in Iraq and it’s time to turn to more mundane matters.

Since journalists are used to being admitted free to various event in order to provide news coverage of the various events, maybe we should apply for a press pass to cover the upcoming columnists convention in Ventura? If journalists have events they must hand out “press credential” to folks who want to cover the event, eh?

The recent crash of the Air France flight was a major tragedy, but have any of the pundits pointed out that the number of people killed, 228, brings up the question of why were they using an airbus to do a job that could have just as easily been done by a smaller Boeing?

How many people, who attended the Summer Nats in Canberra on the New Year’s weekend, will make it to the L. A. roadster show? Will the So Cal folks dig and be hip to it if you war a “SummerNats” T-shirt?

L. A. went “uberenthusiastic” with the Lakers victory. This columnist wishes that he had bought a “West Coast Eagles” T-shirt when the chance was available because such a garment would confuse the heck out of the football fans in what used to be Rams territory.

Some time back, we wrote a column lamenting the plight of L. A. attorney Richard Fine, who, according to his supporters, is being held political prisoner. Recently Leslie Dutton featured that story on her Full Disclosure TV show.

Why does Word program always challenge a sentence written in the passive voice? How the heck can you put it in the active voice if a judge ordered Fine to jail for contempt and the guy was a victim of political vindictiveness? Does this active voice sentence work: “Fine is currently enjoying an extended stay in Los Angeles County jail, provided free by a judge who was concerned that the activist lawyer was spending too much time at work and needed some reset and so proscribed that he take a ‘time out.’’?

Isn’t it odd that one particular online company best known for printing T-shirts for bloggers would not permit a certain columnist to use a clever T-shirt design, which was critical of the invasion of Iraq and included a swastika, but now seems to sanction the selling of T-shirts that advocate using liberals for target practice?

Has anybody taken a critical look at the Governator’s idea about selling California’s assets? Do you see another windfall coming to the fat cats? Let’s say you buy San Quentin Prison. Are you going to be running it as a non-profit charity? No? Well then you have to tack on some profits when you run it. What will the net effect for California citizens be? They have to come up with more money, because they are (ultimately) the ones who pay for prisons. How the heck can adding a middle man save money? Why doesn’t the wolfbpack at Fox question this illogical suggestion?

Speaking of rip-offs, were doing some fact checking at the World’s Laziest Journalist World Headquarters and would like to know if rip-offs by businesses are become more prevalent. If you have anecdotal evidence of a business rip-off please leave a vaguely worded (no brand names or company firm names, please, because we don’t want to see you fight a libel and or slander suite) brief description of what happened and how much of your money they got.

Isn’t it odd that big business can, as was reported this week in the Los Angeles Times, sink $3.5 million into “60 Frames” and then let it slide into oblivion, while an eight year (approximately) old liberal effort has to hold recurring fundraising efforts. Didn’t Bill O’Reilly insinuate that some mysterious fat cat (called Sore-U. S.?) hands out operations funds to liberal web sites as if they were as easy to come by as the free candy in a real estate agent’s office?

Gypsy Rose Lee Quote: “If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing slowly . . . very slowly.” Did she mean a thing like ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Cover ups? The world is becoming a cover-up playground and so the disk jockey will spin Dr. Hook’s “Hey Lady Godiva,” David Rose’s “The Stripper,” and an old rare copy of Jimi Hendric playing “ Night Train.” (Did you want a more traditional version? It’s time for us to take off. Have a “let it all hang out” type Sixties flashback week.

Better Late than Never

June 15, 2009

[<B>Book Review</B>]  At the same time that General Motors was a top news story last week, we happened upon an Avon paperback copy of J. Patrick Wright’s book “On a clear day you can see General Motors” and we snapped it up with a lightening like move that brought to mind the expression “gun fighter’s reflexes.”  It seemed likely that the 1979 book might yield up a great quotable sentence to use in one of the Saturday columns, but when we opened it up and began to skim, we realized that we had hit a gold mine for a source of many great quotes.  Unfortunately the Introduction clouded the prospect by revealing that the book was originally to be written by John Z. De Lorean himself . . . with some help from Wright.  So how do you attribute quotes from this book?  Are they John De Lorean quotes or do you give a quote about a board meeting at General Motors and attribute it to Mr. Wright? 

The title of Chapter Four, “How Moral Men Make Immoral Decisions,” alone, sparked hopes that it would provide the basis for a column with the topic being capitalism has gone out of control like a runaway truck on a long downhill road.

The money quote from all the great possibilities in Chapter Four would seem to be:  “A fraud on the American economy, because I always had a vague suspicionthat theannual model change may be good for the auto business in the short trem but that it wasn’t good for the economy and the country.” 

Hippies appreciated the fact that the “bug” didn’t change much each year.  The bug with the oval rear window, which was not split, was from 1955 – 57 (approximately).  In the 58 model, the rear window became a bigger rectangle.

On second thought, maybe the best sentence in Chapter Four is:  “It seemed to me, and still does, that the system of American business often produces wrong, immoral and irresponsible decisions, even though the personal morality of the people running the business is often above reproach.”  The writer continues:  “The system has a different morality as a group than the people do as individuals, which permits it to willfully produce ineffective or dangerous products, deal dictatorially and often unfairly with suppliers, pay bribes for business, abrogate the rights of employees by demanding blind loyalty to management or tamper with the democratic process of government through illegal political contributions.” 

A different group morality?  Mabye the Torture Truth Commission will want to explore this premise?  Could it do for the Torture question what the “magic bullet” theory did for the Warren Commission? 

Since General Motors and their plight have been in the news recently, many of this site’s regular readers and/or pundits may enjoy this book and find their own favorite of a juicy quote that is relevant in a “ripped from today’s headlines” kind of way. 

We will note, at this point, that book reviewers are often given blanket permission to quote and since this is a book review (we urge the publisher to reprint this important book and then flood the zone with it), we have availed ourselves of that privilege.  There are plenty of great quotes, you get the idea by now.  There’s no use overdoing the quoting bit.  This book review is only thirty years late but we urge our listeners to take the “better late than never” attitude to heart and make an effort to find, buy, (or borrow it from their local library) and read it! 

Lately, it seems that all the pundits have taken to all commenting on the most recent news development and no one takes time to try to draw the public’s attention to something which could help them learn about and then think about any one of these never ending divertissements, but we’ll break ranks and run this column about General Motors even though last week’s news is sooooo last week.

It’s a good book.  Read it even if you have to skip the commentators telling you what you should be thinking this week in reaction to the Iran election results.  Be bold and audatious.  Read “On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors” and then think about the issues that John De Lorean was trying to draw to the public’s attention thirty years ago.

Knowing what was going to happen to the General Motors official after the book was published, gave this read a rather spooky feeling.  If he was very moral then, how did he change between then and when he got caught on film?  Could it be that he was a “payback” victim because of this book?  If you don’t do your own thinking, then don’t expect the wolfpack of conservative philosophy purveyors at Fox to figure it out for you because this week they have to guide the country through the Iran election crises. 

Wait!  Maybe, this columnist got the fact checking wrong?  Did Fox commentators also draw your attention to this book recently?

If we ever learn how to say “Post in haste, proofread afterwards at leisure” in Latin, this columnist will then have his very own (original) motto.

Muhammad Ali boasted:  “Not only do I knock ‘em out, I pick the round.”  Does that describe the contemporary attitude in today’s American business world?  (What?  You wanted, instead the John Dillinger quote about Ford cars?)

Now, the disk jocky will play the Beatles, Stones, Flying Lizards, Led Zeppelin, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Doors  and the Smashing Pumpkins versions of “Money (That’s What I Want)” and we will go out to our swimming pool filled with money and do the Scrooge McDuck routine.  Have a “We hit the jackpot!” type week.

Yeah, I know.  He shudda played the <a href =>Dinah Shore
</a> song.

“Heads, I win; tails, you loose!”

June 12, 2009

The old Laurel and Hardy comedy routine about turning a coin-flip decision into something which resembles the stealing of the 2000 Presidential election should be kept in mind when any liberal attempts to debate with a conservative because, conservative oratorical values and debating styles are quite different than what the liberals are used to using. To the conservative lying and being a hypocrite are splendid examples of modern Christian living. When they discuss contentious topics the conservative is not obliged to use the courteous rules of discourse. Here are some Conservative Debate Rules: The Bumper Stickers vs. White Papers Rule. Hubert Humphries complained to his staff that his oratory seemed to bore the audience. They told him that shorter, snappier points were more of a crowd pleaser than a long and through explanation of his philosophy and any possible exceptions to his general rules. The Image Rule When Hubert Humphries asked his staff why the public had a perception that he was short, they bluntly replied by telling him that he had a big head and that if you parked the Goodyear Blimp on top of the Washington Monument, it would look short. The Ann Coulter’s legs Rule If Ann Coulter is wearing a thigh high skirt when ske makes a clever point, how can a disreputable looking liberal guy refute her legs? The “Here comes the Hindenburg!” Rule The liberal, when he is permitted his 10 second opportunity to respond, must always stick to the subject. If the conservative is being trounced in the debate, he must immediately divert the topic to something completely irrelevant and extraneous. The “Never give up!” Rule In the book the leader of Germany wrote while he was in prison, he urged his followers to never admit that the opposition had the least possibility of being correct on anything. The Divide and Conquer Rule Conservatives (in public) adhere to the “One for all and all for one” advice, but the Democrats can be counted on to let a good pro-liberal talking point go unnoticed. Example: Do you think this column will be cross-posted in the Huffington Post? Not even if this particular section is cut? The Contradictions Rule Democrats operate on the premise that they should stick to proper debating tactics and that a flat-out unsubstantiated contradiction is invalid. Republicans will reply that famous social critic Montague Python would refute the premise that contradicting isn’t arguing, by saying: “Yes it is!” The too Obtuse Rule If Dennis Miller refuses to use any segment of his show to discuss the Robert Brasallich case because it was too obscure to be of interest to his audience, is it possible that he has ulterior motives? The “My God can beat up your god” Rule. The only person who can be given the chance to refute a Christian minister must be a Muslim woman in burke and facemask. The Three Examples Rule In an intermural (should the commets section be hijacked and go into a debate about the difference between “intermural” and “intramural”?) situation where the ignorant liberal must be inculcated with the correct way to think, any broad statement by the liberal must be challenged and a scholastic level of substantiating material must be provided. The conservative, who is omnipotent and infallible, can speak ex cathedra and is therefore exempt of any pesky need to digress by dispense the specifics about where the dumbfounded (conservatives have mostly found that the liberals are dumb) liberal can verify the veracity of the citations. Example: Brushing aside requests for sources to verify the broad sweeping assertion that the issue of the Queen Mary’s location on December 6, 1941 has been put to rest. If our fact checker can not find any means of verifying that statement and a conservative says “that issue was put to rest years ago and isn’t worth reexamining” that’s known as “ducking the question” and is an invaluable conservative debating dodge. On the other hand, when a liberal has the impudence to attempt to establish a contradictory statement, he (no conservative will waste time engaging a woman in a philosophical discussion) must “give three examples.” The “Always besmirch a liberal’s source’s qualifications and/or reputation” Rule When a liberal does give a source for his opinion, it must be vigorously challenged. Example. Barron Siegfried L. von Richthofen III personally told me that all German Shepherds are registered as Republicans. A conservative would refute that by reminding the audience that Siggy was very mean drunk and an SOB (no disrespect to your mom Siggy) and therefore his conclusion should not get any attention or credence (will “Looking Out My Back Door” be this week’s closing song?) when he is used as a scholarly source. The Incredulous Rule When a conservative is called something (say he is called a “conservative troll”), the proper response is to use a “I can’t believe you’d say something that stupid” reply accompanied by an expression that conveys a combination of hurt and outrage. Example: Is that supposed to be a “put down”? (Does a put down artist go around shooting horses who have just broken a leg?) The Ad Hominum Rule When a source is denounced for personal shortcomings (such as a famous night of drunken debauchery) that is an invalid debating strategy and is noted as such in any debating competition. Conservatives, however, refuse to abandon the ploy. The “Just kidding, dude!” Rule If a conservative is challenged for saying says something that is borderline racist the reply will be that attempts at humor are exempt from close scrutiny. Liberals are so very sensitive to not wanting to hurt anyones feelings, ever, for anything, that they will almost never avail themselves of this opportunity to make snide remarks. Thus giving conservatives a distinct debating advantage. The Perfection Rule Conservative need not be shackled by petty details; however if a liberal pundit makes one spelling urror; that invalidates the entire effort. Warren Commission Magic Bullet Rule If a wild idea helps with conservative goals such as refuting ideas that Lee Harvey Oswald didn’t shoot President Kennedy (because he couldn’t get off all the shots in the time span heard on the recording of the police officer’s open mike broadcast of the shooting) then go for it. Was the Warren Commission’s official motto: “You got your head right, Luke?” The “Cut to the Chase” Rule If a liberal speaker seems to be making too many salient points cut him short and snarl: “So What’s Your Point?” The altruism is for fools Rule. Wouldn’t it be very sad and poignant if sincere liberals donated their time and efforts to libear web sites only to have their efforts sabotaged by paid conservative trolls who use dishonest and misleading debating tactics? Quote (overheard in movie theater in Pasadena, earlier this week): “The effect of this bill is they’ll have no clothes but be eating caviar.” The disk jockey wants to play the “Theme from the X Files” and we want him to play Bobby Darren’s “Mack the Knife.” After loosing a coin toss, he will play the song with a shark in it and so it’s time to cut out. Have a “sharp as a razorblade” type week.

Never Give the Next President an Even Break

June 9, 2009

The headline on the front page of the Los Angeles Times for Tuesday, June 9, 2009, read: “U. S. caught in a tight spot on North Korea. Now that the President is a member of the Democratic Party, the pro-liberal (?) media is free to criticize him in a way they did not dare when the Republican President resented any negative insinuations, let alone negative tone, and he could regulate the use of the word “recession” and be immune from any disparaging remarks. Now, with a Democrat at the helm, the scrappy journalists are very eager to prove (via the use of Republican talking points) that “the gloves are off.” President Bush invaded Iraq because, he said, Iraq was about to acquire nuclear weapons. When it started to look like Iran would also be making nuclear weapons, Bush talked up a possible preemptive bombing raid. He used very tough talk and delighted all the conservative talk show hosts. Now that North Korea has nuclear weapons, the next man to occupy the Oval Office in the White House faces a loose-loose binary choice. He can either order a preemptive attack on North Korea in an effort to seize the weapons, but that could lead to a bloodbath that would make the toll being paid for the invasion of Iraq seem insignificant or he can back off and seem to observers like someone who has chickened out. Here’s a suggestion: Since Kim Jong-il’s strategy could be interpreted as a bid for attention, and since he also seems to be fascinated by contemporary American culture, especially Hollywood films, perhaps President Obama should invite him to a summit conference in Washington and then the new President could use his considerable amount of charm and a heavy serving of flattery to defuse the tension between the two countries. Bush has set up a clever “fork” for the new Democratic President to face. If President Obama goes for a military solution to the dilemma, the Democrats will feel betrayed by a new war. If he takes the other choice and just remains mum, while Kim Jong-il struts about commanding the world’s attention, he will outrage all Republican and more than a few Democrats. Most pundits who are eager to curry favor with the fat cats in the Republican party will be too polite to point out than any current confrontation with North Korea was set up as an inevitability by Bush. Unfortunately, this columnist didn’t get the memo urging the implementing of that “good Bushy” attitude. That may remind some W. C. Fields fans (Wasn’t it in “Never Give a Sucker and Even Break,”?) of the part of one of his movies that depicted a confidence game that a clever crook used to get a free lunch. The bad guy, who would be finishing up his meal at the counter would engage the guy next to him in a conversation. When it was time for Slick to leave, he would say to his new friend: “I’ll buy you lunch. When I tell the cashier, I’ll point to you and you wave and she’ll give me your bill and I’ll pay for both of us.” When the confidence man got to the cashier, he would say: “My buddy is going to pay for my lunch. It’s him.” He would then point to the sucker, who would wave back on cue. The cashier would assume that what she had been told was true and the swindle would be set in motion. Doesn’t it seem like Bush has done something similar with all the tough talk, Iraq invasion, threats against Iran, and his trademark swagger? Kim Jong Il is free to snarl: “What are you going to do about it?” Now, it’s time to pay the bill and for the new President to decide to “Put up or shut up” regarding North Korea. Bush reaped the benefit of talking touch and now his successor has to be thinking of the old Vietnam era assessment about the eagles coming home to roost. Mae West quote: “A man has one hundred dollars and you leave him with two dollars, that’s subtraction.” Was she a Republican? Now, the disk jockey will play the country tune that surely must be gaining in popularity in the West Wing these days: “Holding the bag” by Moe Bandy and Joe Stampley. It’s time for us to take our bill over to the cashier and leave. Have a “You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man” type week.

Thoughts for and about D-Day

June 4, 2009

Our Saturday column, -posted a bit early- this week, will attempt to commemorate D-Day, which reminds us of the time, back in 1962, when the movie “The Longest Day” was released and one of our coworkers (at Rodgers Motor Lines) was very enthusiastic about the movie on the second day of its run because she had seen it on its very first day of its run at the Comerford Theater in Scranton.  She told lus how good the actors’ performances were, but, she solemnly intoned:  “I’m not going to tell you how it ends.”

That, in turn, reminds us of the fact that since we have just started reading Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison’s fifteen volume “United States Navel Operations in World War II,” and we hope that no one uses the comments section below to post a spoiler and tell us how things turned out because this is going to take us a considerable amount of reading time and we don’t want anyone ruining a surprise ending, if there is going to be one.

Than, in turn, reminds us that on page 10 of Volume 1, Admiral Morrison reports:  “At the Nuremberg trials it was brought out that (commander of the submarines Commodore Karl) Doenitz had even issued orders to his U-boats to machine-gun survivors of torpedoed vessels, so that they could not ship over again.  It is to the credit of his officers that many of them could not stomach a practice so contrary to humanity and the ancient customs of the sea, and disregarded Doenitz’s barbarous command more often than not.”

It’s a good thing those rebellious German sailors weren’t in Bush military because those disobedient rebels, for their insolence and recalcitrance, could have been threaten, with a transfer to a very unpalatable assignment.  In their case a worse assignment could have been fighting at Stalingrad.  A lot of the good Germans were sent to that Russian city to fight there, but you get the point.

The fact that folks tend to assume that German officers and enlisted men could picked and choosen the orders they deemed acceptable, reminds us of some recent testimony before Congress which indicates to us that Bush may be in the process of learning:  “Paybacks are Hell.”

Before Generalisimo Bush ordered the (Smart) Bombing of Baghdad and the Invasion to take a look around Iraq for any loose WMD’s, the Commander-in-chief (apparently) used some heavy-handed selling techniques to convince the most skeptical of his subordinates that they’d best remember the old military adage:  “When I say jump; you jump and ask ‘How high?’ on the way up, do you read me, soldier?”

Well, time has passed (and a few dozen Iraqi civilians may have very inadvertently been accidentally blown to smithereens – at least they aren’t using napalm) and things have changed.  Bush 43 is no longer the man in charge and the one or two military men that he may have pissed-off with his badgering and bullying are still fighting that same ole war. 

Here’s where it gets hairy for the deposed dictator (scratch that term and insert the words “former President”) because now when those fellows are asked to testify before congress’ Truth in War Crimes Trials investigating committee, they are free to “tell it like it is” and not have to fear any reprisals from the Bush family (well at least not until Jeb gets elected.)

The Republicans seem to take a high school sophomore’s delight in trying to get Americans to subconsciously associate their name calling of President Obama as both a Democrat and Socialist with the fact that Hitler’s party was the National Socialist Democratic party. 

What the Republican’s don’t seem to realize is that if they continue fighting the efforts to punish George W. Bush for his war crimes, what they will get is four years of resentful members of the military releasing a constant stream (like the Chinese water torture – not to be confused with waterboarding?) of tiny, incriminating, details about the run-up to the invasion of Iraq and that continuing series of tantalizing tidbits of information will do more harm to the Republicans than any school boy level of name calling.  The slow release of descriptions of Bush’s performance can not help but be compared to that of the defendants at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials because the parallels are many and obvious to all but the most Banzai samurai fanatical Republicans in El Rushbo’s audience.

Which brings us back to World War II and the question:  Did Poppy Bush commit an offense that required a courts-martial trial when he bailed out of his plane and left the ballturret gunner to die when the plane crash landed at sea?

What is your security clearance level?  Are you authorized to read about the WWII reenactment that will be held in association with the <a href =>Secret City Festival</a>?

That of course, brings us back to the basic World War II question:  Did Roosevelt know that the Japanese were going to bomb Pearl Harbor? 

To find the answer to that we’d have to get a look at the Queen Mary’s log book.  Is a ship’s log a public document?  If, as rumor has it, the Queen Mary was in Pearl Harbor on Saturday December 6, 1941, and if, as it has been alleged, it sailed out of Pearl Harbor on the night of Saturday, December 6, 1941, then it would seem to be enough circumstantial evidence to indicate to a reasonable man (and perhaps also a skeptical columnist) that somebody knew that the feathers were about to hit the fan.

Columnist?  If anyone asks:  “Are you now, or have you ever been a member of a group that has attended a Columnists’ Party?,” we would, if testifying under oath, have to admit that we are in the process of learning the particulars about attending the <a href =>Columnist’s Convention</a> which will be held in Ventura (Didn’t the Grateful Dead play a fee concert in Ventura every year?) from 25 to 28 later this month.

Recently we have been availing ourselves of the opportunity to browse through some magazines published in the 1938 to 1943 time frame (as part of some fact finding regarding reincarnation, perhaps?).  Over and above the idea that if anyone was alive back then, buying a 1940 Ford DeLuxe coupe would have been such a coup (like that play on words?), we see that a constant stream of pin-up photos such as those that accompanied the article, titled “Fair Girlie,” pages 50 – 55, in the July 29, 1940 issue, about Betty Kuzmeek (it seemed to be spelled that way in the article but in the photo captions, it was spelled Kuzmeck) who was a star attraction at the World Fair exhibition called “20,000 Legs Under the Sea.” 

The July 29, 1940 issue of LIFE magazine also included a survey in an article called “A Picture of the U. S. mind summer of 1949, on page 20.  The Roper firm had asked people “If Germany and Italy should win the war, which of these two things come closer to what you think the U. S. should do?”  An astonishing 88% answered:  “Arm to the teeth at any expense to be prepared for trouble.” 

A while back, we wrote a column headlined “Life without LIFE” and suggested that they start posting the best pictures of the day on their magazine’s website.  We’ve noticed that now they are doing that.  Great job, guys!  Don’t stop there.  LIFE always attracted some astonishing photos from their readers.  They ran them in the letters department, the “Speaking of Pictures” weekly feature, and the Parting Shot.  Come on, LIFE, you’re only halfway there.  Can’t Nikon or Kodak or somebody like that help underwrite the cost of assigning one or two compute literate-photo savvy people to take this project all the way?  Solicit and post readers’ photos, damn it! ! !  You want to build the traffic going to your site?  What photographer wouldn’t want to have one of the pictures he (or she) took associated with the LIFE brand name?  I’ll bet readers’ photos will double your number of daily hits. 

On D-Day for 2009. it might be cynical to ask if George W. Bush sent troops into Iraq for the same lofty goals and ideals that were held by the troops who landed on Normandy beach.  Now, we  will direct folks’ attention to page 15 of the Pocket Star Books paperback edition of Stephen Hunter’s “The 47th Samurai,” where they will find this passage asking about the death of Japanese troops on Iwo Jima:  “These fine men, they contribute so much, they die on a crest of black sand on an island of sulfur that held no meaning at all that could be divined.  For the emperor?  How many of his men knew that the godlike, all-knowing, all-demanding, emperor was a recent invention and that for three hundred years had been the puppet-joke of Edo, while in Kyoto stronger subtler men ruled and only tolerated an emperor as a useful fiction, a figure around which to build distracting (and therefore helpful) ceremonies?”  Does that sound like a possible description of Georg W. Bush?

The disk jockey seems overwhelmed by this column so he has selected more than one song to play us out this week.  He will be spinning these platters:

The <a href =>Association’s Cherish</a>
Della Reese’s “<a href =>And that reminds me</a> . . .”
Frank Sinatra’s song “<a href =>That’s LIFE</a>”
Marlene Deitrich’s “<a href =>Lili Marlene</a>”

The number one Pop song in Great Britain, on  D-Day, 1944,  was “Berlin Or Bust —  by Sam Browne and the Six Swingers.”  Then let’s all have a minute of silent tribute to those who died on the beaches of Normandy 65 years ago.

One More (Last?) Comparison of Bush with the Thrid Reich

June 1, 2009

For those overly enthusiastic Bush bashing pundits who took fiendish delight in making the conservative supporters of the 43rd President squirm by comparing George W. Bush and his henchmen (strike that word out and insert “Administration”) to the German leader who helped his country cope with the world-wide Great Depression during the Thirties, we would like to suggest one more egregious example of similarity.

In 1945, when the defeat of Germany was transitioning from “likelihood” to “inevitable” some greedy people (apparently on both sides) used the chaos, consternation and commotion as a diversion to distract folks from noticing that they were looting the German national bank.

The lack of attention to their crimes was so extensive that even to this day many well informed history buffs are unaware of what transpired that while Hitler was busy blowing his brains out rather than participate in a war crimes trial.  Who noticed that “what the Guinness Book of Records calls the Greatest Robbery ever” was unfolding in the Berlin area. while Hitler and his cronies were gulping down cyanide pills.

The Bush Junta helped confuse American citizens by always inventing new terminology for anything that had a Nazi equivalency.  Torture was called “enhanced questioning methods.” Fatherland security was changed to Homeland security.  Hitler’s Preventative war against Russia was called a Preemptive War when Bush did something similar.  The Third Reich never bothered to defend the bombing of Rotterdamn by claiming that Hitler didn’t know (“Hitler used the best information available at the time”) that it had been declared an open city.  El Rushbo beguiled listeners into thinking that the Gestapo tactic called “waterboarding” was nothing more serious than a college hazing ritual. 

So now we come to this bit of clever verbal subterfuge called “The Bailout.”   

The book “Nazi Gold,” written by Ian Sayer and Douglas Botting, presents a detailed account of what happened regarding the Reichsbank (from 1939 it was known as the Deutsche Reichbank) in 1945 and ’46, and it makes fascinating reading. 

An online page promoting the book states that:  “The book ‘Nazi Gold’ tells the story of a nine year investigation by the authors (Ian Sayer & Douglas Botting) of how more than $2.5 billion in gold, currency and jewels hoarded by the Nazis vanished in the chaos of 1945.

“A colossal theft that ‘The Guiness Bookof Records’ calls “The greatest robbery on record.” The Germans, Russians and Americans all dipped into the booty; some are still alive and enjoying it. But no one has ever been caught or tried.”

Unfortunately when this columnist attempted to fact check that it was a record set and included in the Guinness book of Records, the attempt to verify (with help from the reference desk at the Pasadena CA Public Library) the claim about what the Guiness Book of Records said, was inconclusive.  In the past, we have borrowed this book from the Santa Monica Public Library and skimmed though it and base this column on that reading.  We found very little else about the topic online.  Do your own fact checing by starting at:

How much money flowed out of the Reichsbank?  What would it be worth in today’s dollars?  Will the 1945 Reichsbank heist be eclipsed if the “bailout” is ever found to be a fraud that covered up an Oklahoma land rush style looting of America’s Treasury Department?

If the current Democratic majority in the House and Senate are stymied by attempts to prove that Bush’s approval of Gestapo questioning methods constituted the commission of a war crime, how the heck would it be logical to suggest (let alone expect) them to investigate any similarities between the obscure disappearance of money from the German Bank in 1945 with the massive outflow of cash in America that was called “the Bailout”?

In 1945, some of the high jinks included the actual theft of gold bullion, so, as far as Americans can discern from news coverage available to the general public, no ingots of gold have physically been “liberated” from any government facilities in the “bailout” process, but a great deal of taxpayers’ money does seem (the columnist is expressing a personal opinion as sanctioned by the Second Amendment) to be flowing toward control by someone or something (are corporations a person or thing?) that is not the U. S. government.

It would, of course, be nice if this columnist spent many long hours making a point by point comparison and then meticulously connected the dots and then postulated an explanation that would be able to sustain an adjudicated examination by scholars; but if he went to all that bother, no Republican would care to make the effort to read it and no Democrat would, in a time frame when Jon and Kate are getting extensive media scrutiny, want to squander the time it would take to read it, so readers are invited to make use of their own Googling skills and then, if warranted, make posts in the comments section, if they want to challenge this column’s hypothesis.

Let’s get serious.  Anyone with any amount of sense  whatsoever had to realize that Goering’s art collection was valuable and any orders to dump in into any lake anywhere brings to mind some lines from a Robert Frost poem:
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here

If people were smart enough to scoop up the money and gold in the Deutchbank, wouldn’t some sharpie (or perhaps an entire platoon?) have tumbled to the fact it would be better to steal valuable paintings than destroy them or pitch them into a lake?  Eventually things were destined to cool down and any part of Goering’s art collection that could be seized, appropriated, borrowed, or hidden would eventually bring a nice addition to one’s retirement fund? 

How much special treatment from a prison guard would just one van Gogh get you?  Assuming that in 1945 Goering might not foresee the possibility of ever having the need to bribe a prison guard and hence make an effort to stash a future “inducement” somewhere handy, might be just a tad naïve and an early example of “mis-underestimating”?

The Goering Art Collection has got to be somewhere.  The question is:  “Where?”  Wouldn’t it be funny if some of the Bailout funds were used to buy some of Goering’s Art Collection?

Now, the disk jockey, who plans to use his share of the bailout funds to realize the dream of a lifetime and make a visit to Woflfschanze, will play Jim Bacus’ rendition of  “<a href =>Delicious</a>.”   It’s time for us to go pay some bills.  Have the type of week in which an adorable scantily clad young lady asks you if the Picasso painting on your bedroom wall is real.