Thursday, March 20, 2014

Newton Minow, Former Intellectual Big Fish, Becomes an Aged, Illogical Little Fingerling

March 20th, 2014 CBS Radio 780 AM Chicago: Minow
supports Rauner for IL governor in November. Can he really
believe a man who made millions through his hedge fund
business is right for Illinois? Hedge funds aren't regulated;
their managers (owners) pay little in taxes relative to other
enterprises. A governor must be able to respect/obey laws
(i.e., regs), understand the proper roles taxation plays in
an orderly, caring and civilized society.
(--Police and firemen, anyone??)

For most of my adult life I've respected Mr. Minow, a giant
of thoughtful, incisive and insightful communication. An
attorney and former head of the FCC, he gained fame 50+
years back deriding TV as a "vast wasteland", which it was
and still is, excellent, exceptional programming not to the
contrary, infrequent as it is.

--But now? Mr. Minow, rightly observing  Illinois' grave,
even desperate, financial condition, wrongly concludes an
extreme right wing super rich executive who publicly stated
his desire to lower the state's minimum wage, then denies it, is
just what we need. He could have supported Kirk Dillard, a
consensus-minded republican with experience and the necessary

Newton Minow now carries out the meaning of his name:
just another little fish in reality's chaotic gale-tossed oceans
where we want whales with uncommon sense and sound

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dillard vs. Rauner: Money Isn't Everything, as the 2014 Illinois Primary Proved

...Yes, Bruce Rauner ran a rich campaign, and he has secured the
Republican nomination for Illinois' next governor in November,
but by a landslide, as the talking heads and pollsters predicted?
No indeed, it was a three percent squeaker, proving yet again
that, while money is very important, it doesn't quite account for
everything. Watch for Mr. Dillard to nail higher office down
the road, as he intimated in his concession remarks.

Pesonal disclosure is in order here: I was one of the many
independent crossover voters who wished to influence the
Republican Party's outcome last night (-and did!). I voted
for Dillard, Cross and Topinka, as I have watched them over
the years and observed that they can civilly negotiate across
the aisle. Like it or not, those who disagree with us must be
dealt with, simply because they exist and ideal policies are
usually far from certainly known or proven. These three
Illinois politicians appear aware of such basic realities
where/when others are not. The Republican Party in our
state will rise and become more powerful when republicans
behave more like former Governor Edgar, Kirk Dillard and
Mark Kirk.

I'm praying for more RINOS and DINOS to get elected
nationwide--why not?  A steep ideological divide during
decades recently here at home has not produced policies
which reflect truly constitutional aims, namely, that all, rich,
poor and in between have rights, privileges and problems...

Let's get to it; let's prove even more effectively, resoundingly
that money isn't everything; effort, intelligence and concern have
occasionally trumped $$$ signs.

[Signed by a long-time DINO-RINO]

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Obama and Putin: Deal With the Past, Present and Future to Be Effective

What more of the world's leaders must understand
clearly and permanently is all time periods matter--
we never completely leave the past behind; it causes
and informs the present, all the palavers about
"computers completely changed the world",
"...But now, in the 21st century..."etc. to the
contrary. It should be obvious (yet is not) that
every shame or ill regarding human behavior and
actions, as well as every sublimity, kindness and joy
have existed for eons, are still with us. The present
realities are most pressing, ones we can actually
affect/effect, intractable though they may seem. We
must strive to improve ourselves and the world,
the minimum owed to future generations, but
remain alert and sensitive to what got us here.

--A tall order and a forbidding prescription? Yes.
Mr. Obama, as he no doubt studied at Harvard (or
earlier) must recall stark realities of Russian history--
how often they were the nation Germans, the French and
others tried to take and subjugate. But the Russians,
in many ways an indomitable people, have actually burned
down some of their own cities rather than let them be
taken. That this is not every country or culture, must be
realized when negotiating or relating to anyone from there
... others must show they care, are aware.

Mr. Putin must care as well, should understand
other nations, such as ours, have problems too.
Without this perspective, expect a third world
war, period. --Terrifying to think about?
naturally, but denial and avoidance only
gets us all closer to such a dystopian

So slogans, assumptions, ideological purity,
braggadocio, macho posturing, et al. should go,
NOW. Let these behaviors truly, permanently,
land atop the dustbin of history, if anything ever
does. Mr. Putin, Mr. Obama, if you care about
your legacy and the rest of us, consider the past,
present and future when carrying out your
foreign policies or making speeches:  We all need
you to be statesmen, not politicians, right about now.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ukraine's Pain is No One's Gain

It is entirely understandable that the Ukraine is world-weary
of the stranglehold/stronghold Russia (or the Soviet Union)
has had for many decades on the former "breadbasket of
Europe", a wonderful wheatfields-filled Ukraine. It is
equally easy to see why Russia needs her money from the
Ukraine for gas already provided, also her several ports
on the Black Sea, but these concerns and positions could have
been satisfactorily negotiated to the benefit of both countries,

Corruption and incompetence entered the picture,
particularly on the part of Yanukovych, the elected/escaped
ousted Ukrainian Premier who had apparently ordered
Ukrainian military to open fire on demonstrators, killing
dozens of them. How was that justified or necessary?
(-Not that the demonstrators were all altar boys, either.)
Putin seems to back ethically and pragmatically dubious
despots, Assad in Syria and Yanukovych in the Ukraine.
Can't he ever shed his former/current KGB mentality?

So much over-reaction, death and destruction in a world
now needing calm and reason as almost never before will
only bring us all closer to Nostradamus's prediction, that
Armageddon comes when the Eagle and the Bear tangle.
Our "lofty" exceptionalism, often stated, will draw us
into an exceptionally bad situation if we are not especially
deft at this moment...

Pray for peace and reason, call your elected officials and
demand that they act accordingly. Ukraine's pain is no one's

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Bitcoin: Purloined or Over-Imagined?

Either way, the young turks at work these days are
ahead of themselves, and reality, in many ways. Science
and technology have helpful, fascinating methods at
the ready, and I wouldn't wish to be without their
many benefits.  With the advent of marvels like
3D Printing, it's easy to appreciate how imaginations
can segue into overdrive, into fantasy, sci-fi and
beyond. (Don't remind me about the fact that sci-fi
gave us much of our present technology, I get it.)

Yet some sensible  understanding eludes
entrepreneurs like these--such as, we will
always be "material girls" (and guys). I also
took note that those using Bitcoin wanted to
evade taxes and regulations, hardly a moral
practice. Since, seemingly, it wasn't possible
for the newly bankrupt Mt. Gox to monitor
these electronic transactions accurately, the
enterprise was doomed to fail. (--Poetic
justice, perhaps??)

Apology by yet another idiot CEO not
accepted, actually. We must all do better,
therefore, fewer lame "sorries" required.  

Bitcoin, over-imagined, purloined, lacking
in ethics and community caring--
if it disappears altogether,
I won't shed a tear.