Thursday, November 02, 2006


For the Republicans, John Kerry may be the gift that keeps on giving, but let's think about it. Certainly, Senator made many mistakes in his campaign in 2004, but mostly he just proved vulnerable to Republican lies and venality such as the Swift Boat attack.

And now we have the President and other Republicans cynically attacking Kerry for a comment that they know was a misstatement. This, from a party that equates victory by the Democrats with victory by the terrorists. And misled us into a disastrous war.

Suppose we held Mr. Bush for his verbal blunders, such as "They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we" I heard no demand that he apologize for planning to harm his own country.

I hope that voters are smart enough to ignore this foolish and disingenuous distraction.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Since I spend time in both Suburban Philadelphia and Eastern North Carolina, I'm subjected to more than my share of public radio and TV pledge drives. An NPR pledge drive is currently underway, incessantly.

Let me say that a public radio pledge drive is one of the most annoying and exasperating experiences of modern life. The pushy and pleading requests for support interrupt favorite programs and grate on the ear. Also, my guess is that the annoyance of the listener must be matched by the frustration of those doing the pleading. It is so demeaning for those people who are trying to pursue careers in radio to spend day after day begging for money.

There must be a better way. Smarter people than I can perhaps find a solution. My first thought is this proposal: charge a modest amount to receive the public radio broadcasts, say, $25 per year (possibly exempting those who can show inability to pay). I hope that the listener base is such that this will raise a high percentage of the sums raised in the drives. Then, more funds could be obtained by dignified solicitation of larger donors and by suggestions that listeners consider contributing a bit more, perhaps in return for a small incentive gift.

Will this work? I don't know; it may well be too difficult technologically. If we can't get sufficient federal public financing, maybe a small annual charge of about $10 for all homeowners in the listening area would suffice.

What I do know is that the current method is no way to fund a public broadcast service. Let's find a solution.