News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Putz crossing: proceed with care

T. Boone Pickens will be in the state today to promote his plan for shifting from foreign oil dependence to American-produced and sustainable sources of energy.

He agrees for the most part with those who think further drilling for oil will merely commit us more deeply to petroleum and its attendant problems in the environment and bind us more tightly to countries that plot and work against our democratic interests. Pickens has a specific plan for making the transition to wind and solar generation of electricity. It calls for the establishment of natural gas as the fuel that drives our ground transportation. Of course, the billionaire has vast holdings of natural gas. But he also has some ideas, facts, and figures about how natural gas can free us from foreign petroleum.

The need to be wary of Pickens is because of the direction his support of conservative causes took during the 2004 election. He gave $3 million to the organization that conducted the Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry. Then he offered $1 million to anyone who could provide evidence that any charge against Kerry was false. A group of veterans came up with a list of ten falsehoods for which they had documentation of the slanders. Pickens, however, said his offer applied only to what was contended in the television ads and did not follow through with the money.

When Barack Obama met with Pickens, he was asked about the Swift Boat connection. Obama said that Pickens track record was much longer than that incident. But that incident is a big puddle of murky mire in that track record--which includes corporate raiding--and brings up a rule of survival: never trust a putz.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States