Unsafe At Any Speed / My Three Sons

A couple of news articles in the Times yesterday caught my eye.  The first was about the General Motors bankruptcy.  The front page had a time line of significant events in GM’s history.  It included  a photo of that enfant terrible, Ralph Nader, citing his  successful campaign to discredit the company’s Corvair.  As I was reading the article, it occurred to me that Nader is, in some sense,  responsible for the demise of the company that was once the world’s largest corporation.    And it has nothing to do with his criticism of  GM’s cars.

I think one could draw a direct line between the economic meltdown that has befallen the country and GM’s  demise.  And I think a case could easily  be made that it was  the deregulation and “looking the other way” that took place during George Bush’s presidency  that was instrumental in that meltdown.   So,  if we let the Supreme Court off the hook for the moment, we can put all the blame for the  catastrophe of that presidency on Mr. Nader’s ill-conceived presidential run which siphoned off votes from Al Gore.   Ergo, Ralph Nader destroyed General Motors…a mere forty years after his initial run at the company.  I know that this is a simplistic analysis but then again,  you have to keep in mind who’s writing.

The other news item that got my attention was yet another article about the ongoing controversy in the Senate race in Minnesota.  Before Al Franken is declared the winner, I wanted to write about  a remarkable circumstance: Although technically Norm Coleman is not now a Senator, while he was, he was one of three US Senators who were graduates of my high school, James Madison High in Brooklyn-Charles Schumer, Coleman and the least well known, Bernie Sanders of Vermont. (If you ever heard him speak, you’d know he’s from Brooklyn.)

I’ve heard this fact mentioned once or twice but no one , as far as I can tell,  has followed up on this statistical anomaly.  That’s where I come in.  Far flung facts like this have always fascinated me;  as if there is meaning in them that will help me explain the randomness of the universe and how a thing as heavy as an airplane can float in space.   I tried to figure out the odds of three Senators coming from one school and after the blinding headache,  I came up with something like one in a billion.  When I told this to one of the friends I can no longer reference, he reminded me that  a one in a billion chance happens about eight times each day.


5 Responses to “Unsafe At Any Speed / My Three Sons”

  1. ed Says:

    Your second item first. So James Madison HS is the mid-20th century American version of Renaissance Europe. I’m unsure if I’d walk with swelled chest knowing that that’s my ilk…or if I’d see my classmates among the world’s most powerful & important people while I’m here pumping gas. Is a puzzlement. I recall a Bloom County cartoon where Opus declared he was a “sanitation engineer. ” His friend called him “a garbageman.” Opus asked, “What did Reagan call the arms he sent to the Ayatollah?” His friend, “Goodwill gifts.” Opus: “I am a sanitation engineer!” In that spirit, swell that chest!

    Your first item. You take as a given the bad badness of the GWB Presidency. That shows that James Madison High School’s ilk is “moonbat” and the next reunion will be posted at DailyKos.com

    • ironicman Says:

      ed…i’m i big believer in free speech, so i’ll let this comment through(this time) although as a general rule, if the comment is longer than the blog, it will be deleted. in other words , GET YOUR OWN BLOG!!

  2. Maria Basescu Says:

    Are you trying to tell us you’re running for the Senate?

  3. claudia I Says:

    gore couldn’t have lost without helping; he was too afraid to run on the good record that clinton helped to establish god forbid someone would talk about stained skirts, so we got bush instead. thanks, al.

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