Saturday, March 17, 2007

Carl Lindner is a big rotten banana head!

Yes folks, I'm throwing stones at "Uncle Carl" Lindner, revered as a god in the Cincinnati area for his unbounded philanthropy and reputation for ethical conduct. He is a "self-made" billionaire who has worked hard all his life and enjoys giving back to the community to which he owes so much. He started United Dairy Farmers, had owned the Cincinnati Reds, owns the American Financial Group, and for years was Chairman of the Board of Chiquita, retiring from that position in 2002. ( American financial still has 42% control of Chiquita). He is well known for spreading money around to politicians of both major parties, but gives much more to the Republicans for some reason.

He is a non-smoker, and doesn't drink or swear. He is a paragon of virtue and is respected by all, who know him as a businessman of the highest ethical conduct. He gives generously to local charities, has donated money for swimming pools in cash-strapped communities, even started the Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy in 1989. When he passes on, there will probably be overwhelming support to re-name Hamilton County in his honor.

However, there is a side of Mr Lindner that gives lie to his good reputation, that shows him to be a calculating pragmatic scoundrel who doesn't have any qualms about breaking some serious laws, here and abroad, to advance his business interests. He also showed a lack of conscience and moral character by giving big bucks to a recent political smear campaign.

Let's do the smear campaign first. On 10/14/04, three weeks before the last presidential election, Mr. Lindner donated $350,000 to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the vicious ad campaign of lies impugning John Kerry's military service in Viet Nam. By the time he gave the money it was patently obvious that the charges against Kerry were totally without merit, but that didn't stop Lindner. That boy plays to win!!

Now to the law-breaking-Chiquita just this week agreed to pay a $25 million fine to the U.S. government because they paid millions of dollars to terrorist groups in Colombia between 1997 and 2004 as bribes so that Chiquitas business interests in that country would not suffer from the political turmoil rampant at the time. Payment of the bribes was approved at the highest levels of Chiquita, and included $1.7 million to a group called AUC, a left-wing group, and a similar amount to FARC, a right-wing paramilitary group. Both groups had been designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S. well before the bribe payments ceased.

The U.S., of course, is content to levy a simple fine for supporting terrorist activities, but Colombia is upset enough that they want to extradite the Chiquita executives involved to stand trial for their crimes. What do you suppose the chances are that they'll be handed over to a more fitting justice? Yeah, that's what I think too.

Here's a link to an AP story:,CST-NWS-banana17.article

Anyway, I think it's time to update the story of the Garden of Eden. Instead of an apple, the "forbidden fruit" should be changed to a Chiquita banana. While we're at it, we could change that other story to "Carl and Abel" and start referring to the "jawbone of a Carl". Way down deep, he's a crud.

No comments: