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Calling Dick Tracy
By James R. Cook

When I was a kid I avidly read the Dick Tracy comic strip. It ran every Sunday in the newspaper and you could buy comic books with complete stories of Dick Tracy and his partner, Sam Ketcham. Maybe you remember Gravel Gertie, B.O. Plenty and their daughter, Sparkle Plenty. I loved the bad guys like Flattop, Measles, Shoulders, Mumbles and the Mole. The creator, Chester Gould dreamt up far-out stuff like a two-way radio wrist watch and other neat crime-fighting devices.

About 1956 something bad happened to Dick Tracy in my city. The Minneapolis Tribune quit carrying the comic strip. So did other papers. It was because Chester Gould was too harsh on criminals. Dick Tracy was stopped for political reasons. Liberals disliked crime fighting that didn’t properly explain the social reasons for poverty and crime.

I remember I got burned up at the time. I have pretty much not liked my hometown newspaper ever since. I read it every day and love the sports, but hostility towards the editorial staff nags at me. Apparently they only hire liberals on the editorial page and, like so many magazines and newspapers, you don’t get promoted to write about politics unless you’re on the left. They favor columns by Molly Ivins and other lefties. I always scratch my head as to why the owners, who are supposed to be capitalists, allow this.

Now this main voice of liberalism in our community has outdone itself for left-wing foolishness. Yes, it’s even worse than dumping Dick Tracy. We have a wonderful woman in our city who years ago opened a place for kids to stay temporarily when they have been removed from abusive parents. Now she wants to open an orphanage and she has a large private grant to pay for it. She would take little kids out of bad situations and raise them so they would have a chance to escape the underclass culture, go to college and become productive citizens.

So far the newspaper has written six rambling editorials heatedly opposing the orphanage. This is the left at its looniest. They claim that kids should stay with their families or be raised in foster homes. In our city we have had mothers arrested for trying to sell their three and four-year-old kids for sex. We’ve had beatings, neglect and abuse on a tragic scale. Forty percent of youthful black males in Minneapolis are either felons or in trouble with the law. Drug addiction and alcoholism among the underclass is epidemic. These people often make lousy parents. Scores of kids should be removed from these unfit parents.

Foster homes clearly are not the answer. If they were, far more of these children would have escaped the underclass. More would be students that plan on going to college. Kids raised in orphanages such as Boys Town are recognized for their successes in life.

It’s a pathetic commentary on the left that they have come to such a foolish impasse. They bear prime responsibility for creating a dysfunctional underclass through years of subsidies. (What you subsidize you get more of.) Now they are insisting that the damage they’ve done be permanently locked into a failed social system.

How can a major newspaper of otherwise intelligent people be so far off the mark? How can the newspaper’s management condone and tolerate such a ferocious attack on the life’s work of a saintly woman? This is the worst thing this newspaper has ever done. We could use Dick Tracy to get to the bottom of this mischief.


How many employees of Arthur Andersen were involved in the Enron scandal? Ten or twenty out of twenty–eight thousand. Hasn’t Arthur Andersen served most of its clients diligently for seven decades? Nevertheless, companies like Sarah Lee, a client since 1965, and Brunswick, a client since 1941 dropped Andersen like a dirty shirt. So did Delta, Freddie Mac, Fedex, Merck and Abbott. With clients like this who needs enemies? So much for long-standing relationships or the slightest trace of loyalty.

Enron caused a feeding frenzy in the liberal media and gave the politicians of chance to sound indignant towards corporate chicanery. Truth is, the left and the liberals hate business and they love any chance to rant and rave about its so-called evils. It’s the exact same anti-business nonsense Lenin was spewing out a hundred years ago. Among other things, he thought business success was exclusively luck.

For big business to play into this lynch mob on the left is truly disgusting. Apparently there’s a lot of progressives in corporate boardrooms and wind-sniffing wimps at the helms of these companies. Every firm has bad employees who at some time have done something wrong. Good management fires the wrongdoers as did Arthur Andersen. Yes, this was no small sin, but it doesn’t seem serious enough for Andersen’s customers to ensure that the company dies. Bad things can happen to any of these companies. When the government sticks a shiv between their ribs, they too will find out about unfairness. If the left has its way, these companies will all eventually walk the plank. A political cartoon in our morning paper depicted Arthur Andersen running itself through a paper shredder. It’s an example of the left gloating while corporate American cannibalizes one of its own.

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