Let’s End This Drive

October 13, 2014

I’ve enjoyed the races – first time I went to the track with friends who also hadn’t been to the races, a friend said, it looks like they’re on wheels – it’s beautiful. And I’ve been with friends who made killings – a $2 bet that paid $260 – that’s 13,000 % – and I didn’t get the bug.

But I listen to the Fund Drive! Read the rest of this entry »

Band-aids or Systemic Change

July 1, 2014

Let me try to put some things in perspective. I spent a decade in the Legal Service Program which provides lawyers for the poor, first as a store-front lawyer, then in the management of programs or running a clinic. One of the recurring issues we used to debate was whether to focus on what we called “band-aids” or systemic change.

Band aids were individual relief for individual clients, generally much easier to get, but taking quite a lot of time for the few people we could help. It was important work, very satisfying and very frustrating at the same time because we could never make a dent in the needs most of our clients had that way. Read the rest of this entry »

Cooperation Required for Major Health Threats

June 10, 2014

First, it’s so good to have WAMC back doing regular programming. Congratulations all.

Many stations try to give us “news you can use,” by which they mean the things we can do for ourselves. But the things that really matter are the things that require our cooperation.

If we look at our major health threats, I think most people would name heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity. I sympathize with that position. With the help or advice of my doctors I’m keeping diabetes and my heart under control, partly by getting closer to what I weighed in college. So now we have a national health care system. Got those licked. Read the rest of this entry »

Judicial nominations

April 12, 2013

I’ve just prepared a letter to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, urging
them to do everything possible to thwart the efforts of Senator Grassley and
others to prevent the Senate from confirming nominations by President Obama to
the D.C. Circuit and other federal courts. The behavior of Grassley and the Senate
minority to lock the federal judiciary into their ideological revision of
American law, does a great deal of damage to the integrity, fairness and
justice of law in the U.S. For more information, see Alliance for Justice on judicial

Have a look at these

February 11, 2013

If you haven’t seen Paul Krugman on “The Ignorance Caucus,” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/11/opinion/krugman-the-ignorance-caucus.html?hp ,

or the NY Times editorial, “Quietly Killing a Consumer Watchdog,” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/11/opinion/quietly-killing-a-consumer-watchdog.html?src=me&ref=general ,

both are are very well worth reading.

WAMC has been fundraising so I did no commentary last week and took it off. I’ll be back on the air and in the blog tomorrow.

Brief break

June 24, 2012

I’ll be traveling for both business and pleasure for a couple of weeks. My next scheduled commentary should be July 24. I’m hoping to bring back some fresh perspectives from Madrid and the Balkans. Be well.

Sources of American Strength

February 21, 2012

Let’s talk about some basics – the sources of American economic power.

  • We were always an immigrant society, peopled with those who had the drive and courage to leave where they were, cross the ocean and begin again with nothing.
  • Initially we were agricultural. One innovation was small, “republican,” landownership by independent farmers. Their efficiency made everything else possible.
  • We were among the leaders in the banking revolution which simplified and facilitated commerce.
  • The transportation revolution began in England but it had an enormous impact on the American economy because of the sheer size of the country.
  • Our system of democratic schooling  – education for all, rich and poor, boys and girls, immigrants and natives – was revolutionary and made us an international leader.
  • England pioneered the scientific revolution. But America took advantage of the land grant colleges, and with the appreciation for learning that came with both the Christian and Jewish communities that relocated here, America became a major source of invention.
  • Americans led the revolution in manufacturing – inventing and perfecting the assembly line.

Now what? Everything we achieved is out there. Read the rest of this entry »


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