Monday, August 29, 2011
On Bingo, Siegelman, Rick Perry, and the Deaths of Scoundrels
Peter B. Collins long has been one of the sharpest progressive voices in radio, going back to his days on Chicago's WLS-FM in the 1970s. Peter B. sank his teeth into the Watergate story, and he continues to shake up the establishment from his current base near San Francisco.
Collins touts his show as "News and Politics from the Left Coast," but he deals with national and international issues. I am proud to say that I have become, in a sense, Peter B.'s Southern correspondent, making regular visits on his show and focusing on justice-related corruption in the Heart of Dixie.
My latest visit came last week, and Peter B. and I had lots to talk about. Our discussion touched on the Alabama electronic-bingo trial; Rick Perry, Don Siegelman, and political donors; and the deaths of various SOBs, including a Bush-era prosecutor.
We even touched on the recent murder of Alabama lawyer Robert Blake Lazenby, which appears to be a case of someone snapping in the course of a contentious--and perhaps unlawfully conducted--divorce case.
"Too many people go into court and do not get justice, the deck is stacked against them from the beginning," I said. "The Siegelman case, on the criminal side, is one example. Probably the worst area where I've seen it happen is in domestic-relations cases--divorce cases and child-custody cases. Judges have so much discretion in those areas of the law. . . It gets down to the Fourteenth Amendment and equal protection. Are we getting what we are supposed to get under the Constitution . . . ?
"Whether you live in Alabama or California, a lot of people go into court and get the raw end of the stick. . . . Does our system push people too far some times? Their financial well being is at stake, their home can be at stake, their children can be at stake, your ability to earn a living can be at stake. People can be under enormous amounts of stress in these legal cases.
"To those on the outside, these may look like a theoretical exercise. But when you are in the middle of one--and I can tell you from firsthand experience--your life, in a lot of ways, is on the line. It's a dangerous thing to mess around with people in that kind of high-impact environment."
I've told Peter B. on several occasions that I wish he could set up a base in Alabama and give our radio waves a much needed progressive voice. That isn't likely to happen, but thanks to the miracle of the InterWebs, you can catch up with Peter B., no matter where you. We hope you will pay him a visit.
You can check out my most recent discussion with Peter B. at the following link. My segment begins at the 36:07 mark on the podcast, introduced with a rockin' version of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama."
Peter B. Collins Show, August 24, 2011