La Dolce Vita

A few thoughts from Steven Rockford
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 11, 2011 12:07AM

Bush tax cuts - 10 years later


President Bush is applauded by Cabinet members and Congressional leaders as he prepares to sign the tax bill in the East Room of the White House.

Image source – AP 

Ten years ago this week the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $1.3 trillion tax cut bill that was ultimately signed into law by President Bush two months later - 48 days after he entered office.  This was Bush’s crowning momRead full post »

MARCH 8, 2011 7:01AM

Send in the clowns


Arizona lawmakers1  

Arizona Lawmakers


The last few weeks have brought out the “crazies” on the floor of the Arizona legislature.  Here are some highlights:  


Arizona Birther Bill (HB 2544)&nbRead full post »

 blind-justice torture

Last Friday, the Spanish National Court agreed to continue its investigation into Guantánamo torture allegations made by a Moroccan-born Spanish resident.  This is in addition to another ongoing Spanish court case (updated here) brought against six U.S. Department of Justice/Read full post »

MARCH 1, 2011 12:45PM

Gulf deepwater drilling re-started

drilling rig 8  

Yesterday, U.S. regulators issued the first new deepwater drilling permit since the moratorium was lifted in October.  Noble Energy is expected to restart drilling at its Santiago Prospect deepwater platform this month.  Work had ceased at the Santiago site in June/Read full post »

FEBRUARY 28, 2011 11:09AM

Cactus League Baseball


Salt River Fields at Talking Stick - Scottsdale, AZ

The great game of baseball has begun for 2011.  One of the benefits of living in Arizona is being able to attend spring training – Cactus League – games on a regular basis. 

Yesterday, I watched the ArRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 24, 2011 12:00AM

BP oil spill - 10 months later


Exxon Valdez Redux


Image source –

What are the long-term consequences of the BP oil spill? 

If the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989 is any example, there will be little consequences for the oil company, but significant long-term negative consequencesRead full post »

FEBRUARY 23, 2011 6:45AM

People who live in stone houses

shouldn’t throw glasses.

stone house4

This is a rather unique stone house in the mountains of Fafe in Northern Portugal.  It was built between giant granite boulders in the early ‘70s by Victor Rodriquez.  Victor wanted something that would blend in with theRead full post »

FEBRUARY 22, 2011 8:43AM

Congratulations Governor Walker.

Winner – 2011 Top Wingnut Award


Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Finally!  The wingnut spotlight has been taken off of Arizona.   

The people of Arizona would like to congratulate Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for going "above and beyond" the expecRead full post »

FEBRUARY 21, 2011 9:36PM

Gustav Mahler’s last concert

Mahler conducted the New York Philharmonic


Carnegie Hall – February 21, 1911

It has been a century since Gustav Mahler conducted his last concert.  It was at Carnegie Hall in New York.  He had been advised by his physician not to perform that evening because of a high fe/Read full post »

FEBRUARY 18, 2011 9:36AM

Pakistan and Osama bin Laden

as seen by the Spy Masters


spy books 

This has been a banner book-release month for spy books.  Not books about spies.  But rather, books written by spies.  Two former CIA operatives, Bruce Riedel and Michael Scheuer, have just released books covering their views oRead full post »

FEBRUARY 15, 2011 3:01PM

Remember "Up With People" ?

Smiling Propaganda


Once in the early ‘70s, I attended an Up With People event at the Oakland Coliseum.  I wasn’t necessarily a big fan.   In fact, I was more inclined to attend anti-war rallies on campus or Doobie Brothers' concerts in the Bay Area a/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 10, 2011 11:45PM

Arizona to secede from Union?


Arizona legislature 

Arizona Legislature

Just when you think that the leaders of Arizona could not demonstrate a higher degree of lunacy, they always manage to come up with something crazier.  Today, the AZ Legislature introduced a new bill (SB 1433) that essentially allows Arizona to decide forRead full post »

FEBRUARY 9, 2011 8:30PM

The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show

February 9, 1964

This date in Beatlemania history is important because it was the first time that The Beatles perfomed live on Ameican TV.  Ed Sullivan had The Beatles on for three consecutive Sundays, beginning with their 2/9/64 performance (above) in New York City. 

AnoRead full post »

FEBRUARY 8, 2011 9:30AM

The forgotten Iraqi refugees

Four million people left their homes.


Image source – The New York Times

We seem to have forgotten that the conflict in Iraq caused a large portion of their population to leave their homes to escape the sectarian violence that erupted during and after the invasion. Read full post »

FEBRUARY 7, 2011 7:48AM

“Italy is not a whorehouse.”

 Italy - Sky dot it 

Image source –

The Italians are currently obsessed with the sexual escapades of their prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi.  The front pages of Italian newspapers and the lead news stories on Italian TV have been dominated by the Berlusconi sex scandal for several w/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 3, 2011 9:00AM

Rumsfeld is back.


".No one knows what he doesn’t know, and the less a man knows, the more sure he is that he knows everything."

Joyce Cary, English Author (1888 – 1957)



Donald Rumsfeld will release his memoir “Known and Unknown” next week.  The ti/Read full post »

FEBRUARY 2, 2011 4:16PM

This year at Davos


Last week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland was somewhat subdued compared to prior years.  You may remember two years ago when the forum was dominated by concerns over military action in the Middle East.  That event took place shortly after the Gaza War,Read full post »

FEBRUARY 2, 2011 12:10AM

Crisis in Egypt

As viewed by its neighbors


The English language newspapers in the Middle East have presented some interesting “regional” concerns about the protests in Egypt.  Following is a summary of the points made in articles written recently in local newspapers in LebanoRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 31, 2011 9:46AM

Professors packin' heat


college kids and Yosemite sam1   


Now that Arizona has gained national recognition for having the laxest gun laws in the nation, our state lawmakers are looking to take this a step further by arming our college professors. 

Until now, only one state (Utah) has allowed guns to be caRead full post »

JANUARY 25, 2011 12:45PM

Finding the political "Center"

In a crossword puzzle 


The village media continually insist that Obama needs to move to the center.  But, what isn’t mentioned is that this “Center” has been continually moving “Right.”  This is not to say tha/Read full post »

JANUARY 25, 2011 12:01AM

LBJ's first State of the Union address

January 8, 1964 

lyndon_johnson 1 

I declare “War on Poverty”


In a speech that has been remembered as an introduction to “The Great Society,” Lyndon Johnson declared "War on Poverty."  Speaking at his first State of the UnRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 21, 2011 12:01AM

Citizens United - One year later


One year ago today SCOTUS ruled in favor of the Corporate Elite in their Citizens United v. FEC decision.  After three decades of careful planning, Ronald Reagan’s puppet masters had finally managed to realize their ultimate corporate dream – electoral co/Read full post »

JANUARY 19, 2011 7:25AM

Ike warned us.


The Military Industrial Complex



50 years ago this week, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned America of the dangers presented by the Military Industrial Complex.  He said: 

___________________________________________Read full post »

JANUARY 18, 2011 12:00PM

The U.S. Torture Team


Remember David Addington?


david_addington 5 

This picture, taken from the rogues’ gallery of the Bush administration, is that of an extremely slippery character.  David Spears Addington was the primary behind-the-scenes force in the creation andRead full post »

JANUARY 17, 2011 2:45PM

Shock & Awe – 20 years later



It’s hard to believe that twenty years have gone by since the start of Operation Desert Storm.  It was late evening on January 16, 1991 that President George H. W. Bush announced the beginning of the air bombardment of Baghdad  

CRead full post »