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Ben Franklin's bifocals Friday, February 10, 2017

Writer William A. White    Publisher William A. White    Newspaperman William Allen White
[1868 - William Allen White, newspaper publisher, writer, born in Emporia, Kansas]

Writer Boris Pasternak    Poet & Writer Boris Pasternak    Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago  Writer Boris Pasternak     Writer Boris Pasternak
[1890 - Boris Leonidovich Pasternak, poet, writer, born in Moscow, Russia]

Actor Alan Hale    Actor Alan HaleActor Alan Hale Actor Alan Hale
[1892 - Alan Hale (Rufus Edward Mackahan), actor, born in Washington, D.C.]

Comedian Jimmy Durante    Actor Jimmy Durante    Comedian Jimmy Durante
[1893 - Jimmy (James Francis) Durante, actor, comedian, born in Brooklyn]

Judith Anderson    Actress Dame Judith Anderson
[1898 - Dame Judith (Frances Margaret) Anderson, actress, born in Adelaide, South Australia]

NBA Founder Walter Brown    Celtics Hall of Famer Walter Brown    Hall of Famer Walter Brown
[1905 - Walter A. Brown, Basketball Hall of Famer, founder NBA and Boston Celtics, born in Hopkinton, Massachusetts]

Actor Lon Chaney, Jr.    Actor Lon Chaney, Jr.    Actor Lon Chaney, Jr.    Actor Lon Chaney, Jr.
[1906 - Lon (Creighton Tull) Chaney Jr., actor, born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma]

Harmonica Virtuoso Larry Adler    Harmonica Virtuoso Larry Adler    Composer Larry Adler
[1914 - Lawrence 'Larry' Cecil Adler, composer, musician, born in Baltimore, Maryland]

Medical Researcher Alex Comfort    Alex Comfort's Joy of Sex    Writer Alex Comfort
[1920 - Alexander Comfort, medical researcher, gerontologist, anarchist, pacifist, writer born in London]

Soprano Leontyne Price    Soprano Leontyne Price    Lyric Soprano Leontyne Price    Soprano Leontyne Price     Leontyne Price
[1927 - (Mary Violet)Leontyne Price, lyric soprano, born in Laurel, Mississippi]

USS Sargo (SSN-583)
[1960 - USS Sargo (SSN-583) surfaces at the North Pole]

Major Francis Gary Powers
[1962 - American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers exchanged for Soviet Colonel Rudolf Abel]

Ralph Nader - Senate Testimony
[1966 - Ralph Nader testifies to Senate on US auto industry social irresponsibility]

Safety Last

More than four decades ago, a youthful Ralph Nader appeared before Congress to expose the shameful safety practices of the Detroit auto makers. Now that Mr. Nader has become an old curmudgeon, and a perennially unsuccessful candidate for high office, the Detroit auto makers have finally listened to his message. Having resisted most safety advances in the intervening years, it was only government regulation, consumer oversight, and some expensive lawsuit losses (plus some healthy competition from the more responsible foreign manufacturers) that made the US-produced cars now on our highway more protective of human life. Detroit built safer cars only when they had no other sensible choice.

More recently, numerous recalls by auto makers of every stripe have revealed that known defects that were causing death and serious injury to motorists (including some related to defective safety equipment) were actively concealed from regulators and the public for years by corporate officers, who apparently treated the loss and damage of human life as just another cost of doing business. If corporations are indeed persons, it is high time that the criminals among them were sent to prison for taking human life in the interest of bottom line performance and financial gain.

William's Whimsical Words:

Well, Mr. Attorney General, when can we expect the first indictment of the these homicidal corporate officers?

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