By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Otherwise, Silicon Valley scans like the original cast from Sinclair Lewis: George Babbitt playing to the millennium. What's happening in this micro-business paradise is what occurred generations ago in corporate Detroit: the creation of wealth off technology, and its reinvestment in more technology and private wants. Until that bubble burst, and the auto business was scattered all over North America. Been to the Motor City lately? Did it really remind you of Florence?
The Forgotten Man
I admit it: Reading mayoral archivist Jim Newton's account of Dick Riordan's triumphal frolic through the Orient was wearing me down. Thank heavens all hands are now back safe from all those travel hazards. Another week of cavorting and somebody might have been conked by an errant champagne cork.
In Taiwan, the mayor celebrated the renewal of a long-standing port agreement with the vast Evergreen Corp. In 1993, Evergreen, said to be the world's second-largest shipping firm, paid nearly $900,000 in fines for more than $172,000 worth of state and local campaign-money laundering. With all the Newtonian hoopla about that contract signing last week, you'd have thought the company was just about to move its cargo facilities to Morro Bay. But there was no real doubt that Evergreen would re-up: Newton's was a suspense story without suspense. Just plenty of fawning.
Newton also reported that in Beijing the mayor gamely toasted a Chinese official who, in fact, was not in attendance. But Newton cited no in absentia toasting in Taipei. It would have been appropriate, however, for Riordan to have lifted a glass to the faraway Arthur K. Snyder, ex-L.A. councilman, attorney and fixer still appealing a felony conviction. Snyder's name was often pegged to the furtive activities resulting in Evergreen's fine. As well as to lobbying for Mangrove Estates, the huge, still-pending Evergreen development east of City Hall. Presumably, in renewing its port contract, Evergreen was simply protecting both of its investments.
Racing to the Bottom
Sometimes, an individual's statement encapsulates exactly what's wrong with an entire institution. The way that a long-ago U.S. commander's "In order to save the village, it became necessary to destroy it" did with the military in Vietnam.
Speaking in the same spirit was an anonymous hospital administrator, quoted in Josh Meyer's Times story from Thursday of last week, contesting an official finding that King-Drew Medical Center was responsible for the fatal poisoning of dialysis patient Blanca Maldonado:
"It's like I parked my car and you ran into it and killed yourself, or if I left a knife out and you killed yourself. Why is that my fault?" the K-D official reportedly said, with "anger."
What really happened was that a novice doctor, as yet reportedly still undisciplined, left an open, unmarked container of orange poison liquid by Maldonado's bed. Which she then drank. This cowardly scumbag who's equating murderous professional ineptitude with patient suicide deserves immediate firing and blacklisting from the medical profession. So does everyone responsible for his employment.
If that doesn't cure the K-D staff's apparently endemic belief that no patient deaths are ever the hospital's fault, maybe the only answer left is to close the place down.