Bob Franken

DEADLY DECISIONS

July 20, 2007
Deadly Decisions (Bob Franken)
@ 10:47 am
“Homicide without malice aforethought.”

Isn’t that the classic definition of manslaughter?

Or this: “A person recklessly causes the death of another, or acting under extreme emotional disturbance, causes the death of another, or acting under circumstances when a person reasonably believes the circumstances provide a legal justification or excuse for his conduct constitutes manslaughter.”

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THE REAL BACKGROUNDERS

July 19, 2007
The Real Backgrounders (Bob Franken)
@ 3:02 pm
Watching candidates Edwards on his magical mystery poverty tour and Obama contending he was for poor people before it was cool, causes me to start thinking — about photo-ops, of course.

I mean, what self-respecting politician would even think of presenting a media event without props — human props.

In order to accommodate the television news imperatives, they come up with living, breathing “real people.” “Quick, find me some poor folks. I need to show compassion for them,” the candidate might say. Or, “Find me the baby a mother decided not to abort,” shouts the right-to-lifer. It goes on and on.

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UNFAIR RULES

July 17, 2007
Unfair Rules (Bob Franken)
@ 10:07 am
This country is about equal opportunity, not equal outcome. How many times have we heard that? It’s the American way to give everybody the same fair chance at success. What a wonderful theory.

So let’s talk about all the equal opportunity here in the U-S of A, shared by rich and poor alike:

Sure. Like equal education opportunity — decrepit public schools, which in so many cities get failing marks, versus the high-tuition private academies where any parent who loves his children would send them, IF he could afford to. Healthcare that is first-class for many — Third World for millions of others. Safe neighborhoods — usually affluent suburbs and other gated communities are safe — the not-so-rich take their lives in their hands every time they go out.

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THEM THAT GOT V THOSE THAT DON’T

July 16, 2007
Them That Got v. Those That Don’t (Bob Franken)
@ 12:23 pm
Let’s talk about our economic system. More and more it is ruled by a Tyranny of the Quarterly Report. Profits über alles. No longer is business governed by anything more than the amoral push to constantly increase earnings and reduce expenses. That has become the only way top executives can keep their jobs and their obscene compensation.

And how do they do that? Let’s see: They can “improve productivity,” which often means cutting jobs. They can reduce expenses, which often means cutting jobs and product quality. They can move their operations to a Third World country where they can pay near slave wages, and leave their workers and communities in the dust, as well as the consumer, who is less likely to be protected from dangerous goods.

It’s nothing more than class warfare fought by Them That Got against Those That Don’t. And government is a bought-and-paid-for accomplice. In return for “political contributions,” the laws are stacked to make sure regulations don’t get in the way of unsafe products, shoddy business practices, tax evasion.

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LYING IN STATE

July 13, 2007
How a Tightly Run Ship Began Sinking (Bob Franken)
@ 12:02 pm

Remember “Message Control”? All public information about and from the Bush administration was held very close. Nothing came out unless it had high-level approval from the White House commissars. Deviation could be considered a capital offense. Not only were facts grudging dispensed but many topics were taboo — just about anything that ran afoul of the Bush ideology. If truth had to be misrepresented, so be it. If lies had to be told, well, it was for a greater good.

Of course, we in the news media were pliant little puppies, yipping for approval, and not daring to do anything that would cut off our carefully sanitized little scraps.

When it came to how the informed electorate was informed, it was not. The people around the president sailed a tightly run ship.

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