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News Flash from the Asylum


Allen GinsbergToday is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl.”

You know:

“I see the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness.”

Just before his death, and into my third or fourth midlife crisis, I decided to become a writer. Couldn’t decide between poetry and investigative journalism. Ginsberg read my poetry. He suggested journalism. And then he said, “You know, Greg, I’m an investigative reporter, too.”

Yes, he was. In 1956, Ginsberg sat at a kitchen table in San Francisco and wrote that his friends were going crazy. They could still hear the voice of Joe McCarthy ranting and, out the window, count the Pentagon contractors polishing new war heads. In an America gone mad, insanity was the best defense.

“The soul,” he reported, “should never die ungodly in an armed madhouse.”

And that’s still the news.

Greg Palast talks journalism a la Ginsberg with Laura Flanders tonight at 9:45 EDT on Radio Nation — check your Air America and Community Station listings. Armed Madhouse dispatches form the Front Lines of the class war will be released this Tuesday, 6-6-06 – for more information see www.GregPalast.com.

The Al Capone of Electricity

Greg Palast 

layKen Lay Will Get Away with his Real Crimes

Seattle Post-Intelligencer


Al Capone cut throats, machine-gunned people to build his gang and went to jail—for not filing his taxes properly. Likewise, Ken Lay, buccaneer of the power industry, will go down—if the jury doesn’t buy his alibi—for not filing his SEC forms properly. Read more