Showing posts from 2010

Creative economic fix-its? Please, spare us...

[This was a letter to David Segal, a prominent New York Times reporter who writes on various economic topics, usually in the business section. Normally I enjoy his stories, but this one was a real bomb....and on the front page of the Sunday business section, no less...sent Dec 5, 2010]

Dear Mr. Segal,

While I usually enjoy your economic articles, I was rather disappointed with your piece last Sunday (Nov 28, 2010) "Economic Fix-Its." Where do you find such inept economists who provide such inane and superficial recommendations? For a more balanced, informed and penetrating treatment of our economic malaise, please consider Robert Reich's recently published Aftershock. In it you will a rigorous and trenchant treatment of our problems, which deserves greater public discussion. It's not hard to see why there's a lack of good jobs in this country: they've been outsourced for decades by American corporations who care for little beyond their own bottom line. Witness…

Free-market environmentalism is an oxymoron!

[The following is a response to an editorial that appeared in the July 12, 2010 issue of the Colorado Daily, by a J. Craig Green, P.E., from the Independence Institute, a conservative think tank based in Golden, CO. You can rest assured that the financial backers of the Independence Institute and the Environment Research Center in Bozeman, MT, mentioned in the editorial, are backed by conservative corporations with an interest in privatizing natural resources. I tried to uncover this by accessing their Form 990's online, but was unsuccessful (The Form 990 is a public document that all non-profits that are 501(c)3 corporations must provide, which is supposed to show their source and use of financial funds.)]

Dear Colorado Daily,

I would like to respond to the editorial "Free-market environmentalism" by J. Craig Green on July 12, 2010.

My desire to address this is based on my teaching of environmental economics at Front Range Community College, and holding a masters degree in…

"Americans For Prosperity" - What A Joke!

[This is a letter I wrote to the editor of the Colorado Daily, a small Boulder newspaper that caters to the University of Colorado community, in reaction to an editorial they ran on June 7, 2010.]

Dear Colorado Daily,

I wish to respond to the editorial in today's paper, "FCC shouldn't regulate Web" by Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity.

I must strongly disagree with Mr Kerpen's conclusion that the FCC should be prevented from "regulating" the Internet, as well as his erroneous assertion that "The Internet -- in the absence of regulation -- has flourished into a remarkable engine of economic growth, innovation, competition and free expression." The Internet is a wonderful invention, it is true, but Mr Kerpen's twisting of the issues needs some correcting.

The Internet, as well as the entire telecommunications industry, has always been regulated since shortly after it got started -- as it must be, if society is to derive the full benefits o…

Push BP out of the way now!

As the Gulf oil disaster continues, the credibility of BP to shut down the oil leak they created decreases day by day. The patience of the American public is wearing thin: how long will it be before BP must be pushed out the way to get the job done?

It is a mistake to assume, as the federal government has done up to now, that only BP has the "expertise" to do this. What has this so-called expertise accomplished? How much longer can this "expertise" be allowed to bungle the job?

I would like to suggest to the blogosphere another option: that the US government force BP out of the way, take over control of the operation, while keeping BP in an advisory role. Call in leading experts for a new plan: to plant explosive charges to seal the blowout through geological means.

The circumstances of this pollutive catastrophe are without precedent - and may therefore require unprecedented solutions. Shutting off of this eruption by implanting subsurface charges in strategic locat…

Once again, lame NPR reporting lacks insight, relevance and courage

Today NPR, in reporting on the top news story of the day, the Gulf oil leak disaster, was once again lacking in insight and relevance. In so doing, they failed to perform one of the basic functions of journalism in our culture: to inform the public on dangerous industry practices, and to bring public pressure to bear on BP for its fraud, its lies and its wanton disregard for the health and welfare of its employees and contractors -- indeed, its wanton disregard for life itself, whether human, animal or plant.

In particular, my complaint is in regard to the NPR report about today's recall by the Coast Guard of the hundred plus boats operating as constractors to help with the oil clean up, by placing booms, removing oil from the water, etc. They were called in because of reports of nausea, eye and lung irritation and other symptoms; and there the NPR report stopped -- end of story.

However, that is not the end of the story; it should have been the beginning of the *real* story: BP&#…

Yet another lame NPR interview...

[A comment that I made at NPR's website on April 29, 2010, right after hearing the interview...]

I listened with interest this afternoon as NPR interviewed the CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, on the heels of his grueling testimony before Congress yesterday. It was a rare opportunity to put some tough, direct questions to the head of the corporation that is more responsible than any other for causing the current US recession (not to mention their underhanded dealings on the international scene; they are behind Greece's current difficulties as well). Not surprisingly, the NPR reporter was not up to the task, and let this duplicitous scoundrel off with a mere rap of his knuckles.

The main point that Mr Blankfein tried to use to defend his company is that they are constantly financing US business and government activities that help build and maintain our economy; that is only partially true, and hides an ugly truth. The glaring reality is that over 70 percent of Goldman Sach…

NPR vs Democracy Now: No Contest

[This is a comment I had to make on the NPR website on April 6, 2010 after hearing their lame and sycophantic coverage of a brutal assault by US forces against innocent Iraqi civilians. The story is based on a video leaked to WikiLeaks, which has posed it on ]

Dear NPR,

I listened to your report on this leaked video after hearing it earlier this morning on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman; the difference in the two reports was striking. Ms Goodman's presentation was much more open, revealing and truthful (with abundant live clips of conversation exchange between the gunship and commanders on the ground), including an interview with a London Times reporter in Kabul who just published a very similar story that recently occurred in Afghanistan. In contrast, NPR's coverage appeared insipid, hesitant and utterly sympathetic to the US military. After hearing the riviting account on Democracy Now, there is no doubt in my mind that the daily war in Iraq and Afghanist…