Billionaires and ballots. We need to talk.

America minted its first billionaire 103 years ago when steel magnate John D. Rockefeller’s bank balance clicked over to ten digits. The country is now home to 607 billionaires. Three of them are running for president. 

Media tycoon and former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg ($53 billion) sent up a trial balloon this week, joining hedge fund manager Tom Steyer ($1.9 billion) and the incumbent horror Donald J. Trump (morally bankrupt) on the campaign trail. 

Never before has the country seen three billionaires vying openly for the most powerful office in the nation. The standard operating procedure for plutocrats has been to wield power from behind closed doors, and to do so quietly, lest they alert the teeming masses.

Continue reading “Billionaires and ballots. We need to talk.”

Another significant 50th anniversary, but you’re not likely to see any TV specials about it

Screenshots from 8mm home movies of the historic anti-war march on Washington, November 15, 1969. Home movies can be seen at the bottom of this post. Original film courtesy of Bob De Lucia.

This past summer was defined by 50th anniversary commemorations. First out of the gate was the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing, a historic event certainly worthy of review. And did it ever get reviewed — TV specials, newspaper inserts, even a commemorative coin issued by the U.S. mint.

Then came August and the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. The Woodstock celebrations were personal for me as someone who had actually gone to Woodstock. More commemorative events and publications. Even a stamp. But no coin as far as I know.

Coming up soon is another significant 50th anniversary event, another one with deep personal meaning for me — the anniversary of the massive Vietnam War Moratorium March on Washington, which took place on November 15, 1969, exactly three months after Woodstock. I was there, too.

Continue reading “Another significant 50th anniversary, but you’re not likely to see any TV specials about it”