His name? David C. Bellinger, a.k.a, “The Flaming Liberal”.
The latter is the moniker he goes by and perhaps describes his intensity of political spirit like very few people on either end of the left-to-right spectrum.
Despite the label, that connotes light and heat, there is a cool darkness that defines Bellinger. He is blind.
Some consider Bellinger to be a nuisance and others surely claim he is a partisan enlightenment. When he is not making his calls to talk radio, he is sending out news clippings to members of the local and national media of all political stripes. In doing so, he includes his own opinions and rants, often with angry words describing the subject of his attack.
Bellinger is not the only avid caller in the Rush Limbaugh-type world often labeled as "hate radio" by the other side of the political world. Others have garnered reputations of being the advocate, or kook. On the Jeff Crouere morning show on WGSO AM 990, a program which I am a guest every Tuesday morning (in which I try to be a voice for moderation), there are other voices. There's “James”, Zorro, the White Zorro, the Black Zorro, Sid from Gentilly (formerly of Metairie), various reverends and ministers with first names attached and the list goes on. Unlike so many talk show hosts, Crouere gives both sides equal time and stature which callers such of The Flaming Liberal appears to relish.
No doubt, these daily voices live in a world of deep passion. In my view, few are as articulate (even when he appears to be over-zealous and in your face with his attacks) as the man who delights to be known as “the Flaming Liberal” in a broadcast world so populated by the strong opinions to his contrary.
Recently, and out of curiosity, I sent Bellinger questions to get a better idea about the man behind the voice that wants to be heard even if he cannot see or be seen by those who are listening. Here is the Q and A:
Q: Why the name Flaming liberal?
A: In the 1980’s I was a caller to the extreme right Keith Rush radio talk program on WSMB 1350 Am and a regular caller – Gabrielle – a supporter of Ronald Reagan would always call the program after my calls and hyperventilate in her response to my earlier phone call -- usually when I had bashed Ronald Reagan.
Gabrielle – very pejoratively - would refer to me as “that flaming liberal” and go into her attack mode usually saying something like – “Let me tell that ‘flaming liberal’ who called Keith . . . “
So, being proud of being a “flaming Liberal,” I have now used for decades the term as my radio talk program handle as a badge of my political philosophy.
And, like so many conservative talk show host, Keith Rush banned me many many years ago. Keith Rush could not handle the ‘flaming heat’ of the Flaming Liberal who knows more about politics than George Bush knows how to mix a double vodka martini and who has now been banned from more conservative talk programs than Limbaugh has prescriptions for OxyContin, Lorcet and hydrocodone.
Q: Give us a short biographical sketch about education, work, etc.
A: I attended Catholic schools – St. Lewis Cathedral, grades kindergarten and first grade – St. Mary’s Italian Elementary, second grade through sixth grade in the New Orleans French Quarter and attended public schools, grades 7-12 – Charles J. Colton, Jr. High and John McDonogh High School.
After high school, I attended a career college to study accounting and then worked full time for steamship companies in New Orleans working in accounting, documentation, and credit/collections while attending University of New Orleans working toward a B. S. in accounting and accumulated fifty-nine (59) hours of credit.
While working for Puerto Rico Marine Management, which at the time of my employment was the largest containerized steamship company in the port of New Orleans, was elected to the position of union shop steward of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (AFL-CIO) and developed a strong interest in defending the rights of workers and loved the charged environment of the controversial issues and matters which arose from a near endless list of union/company differences.
And in my tenure as the union shop steward, I never lost a worker, never lost a grievance, and never lost an election, and never took a penny from the union -- not even for expenses.
While working and attending the University of New Orleans, my ambition was to obtain an accounting degree and pursue a degree in law.
However, my ambition was short circuited when I was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa - a degenerative eye disease - which would eventually cause total blindness.
When my vision failed to the point I no longer desired to continue my educational pursuits and no longer felt my employment was practical, I drifted in and out of other pursuits, such as trading the stock and options markets.
In the late 1990’s I became aware of new technology for the visually impaired which made operating a personal computer very practical using a computer soft wear program that reads the screen.
So after learning as much as I could of the screen reading computer technology, I re-entered the University of New Orleans to hopefully complete the requirements for an accounting degree and go on to accomplishing my dream of attending law school.
But the work load and the obstacles I encountered as a visually impaired student became so frustrating, to my very deep regret, decided to drop school.
So again having time on my hands and at least a good working understanding of a personal computer, decided to pursue writing.
I have been published in New Orleans City Business, American Politics.com, the Louisiana Weekly, NewOrleans.com, and righthandthief.blogspot.com.
As well, I have written, and invested years of work, writing a classy romance novel – A Memoir of an Office Affair - which I am working to have published.
Writing very quickly became a real labor of love and found the creative writing experience to be a therapeutic method of occupying the time I had to burn.
Q: How has being legally blind impacted your life and what are you doing to compensate?
A: For the record, I am not legally blind –I am now totally blind.
And I feel my visual impairment is a challenge and I think of enjoying the wonderful gift of life as fully and as much as possible.
Q: Do you have a certain routine every day? Particular talk shows?
A: I enjoy reading political articles on a daily basis using computer speech technology. My favorite newspapers are the New York Times and the Washington Post.
And, although not as often as I once did, call radio talk programs.
However, my options have been limited since most conservative hosts do not have a big enough pair to handle my facts.
As an example, after losing my home in New Orleans East due to Katrina I relocated to Atlanta.
Shortly after I arrived in Atlanta, I heard Herman Cain on an Atlanta talk program – who was filling in for the ‘talk disaster,’ Neal Boortz - say that the only thing that Clinton did as president was raise taxes.
Feeling that Herman Cain’s stupidity had to be corrected, I telephoned Herman Cain and explained to Herman Cain the “facts” that in 1997 President Clinton signed a capital gains tax cut bill which reduced the effective tax rate for the top four hundred individual taxpayers from 30% to 22%.
Herman Cain responded by saying that he never heard of that and he did not believe that I knew what I was talking about!
I was then using the radio name of Elwood and Herman Cain – from that point – would never ever take a phone call from “Elwood” when filling in for Neal Boortz!!
And, for the record, my evidence regarding the President Clinton capital gains tax cut -– the “Holy Grail” of the Republican Party - – and evidence of how uninformed Herman Cain is - can be found at:
Q: Are you doing research and advocating for yourself or do you get paid for what radio talk that you are doing?
A: If only I could be paid for my well documented and well researched articles that I discuss on talk radio and, having often been accused of being paid to call talk radio, I have never accepted pay, or have I even been offered a dime to call talk radio.
But if you know someone – or an organization – who would wish to pay me for my attention grabbing, and colorful phone calls – with no verbal punches pulled – or even better, a position as a political talk host - my telephone number in Atlanta is: (404) 762-8779.
And one of my most memorable, and perhaps historic, telephone calls can be heard approximately two minutes in a You Tube video wherein I challenged now Sen. David Vitter regarding his likely “illegal” relationship with a French Quarter prostitute, Wendy Cortez, and can be heard at:
The telephone call I made to Sen. Vitter on the Jeff Crouere radio talk program in 2002 – Ringside Politics - was played on MSNBC for Larry Flynt and Wendy Cortez in 2007 and Vitter, perhaps accidently, or perhaps not, stated, “Those rumors are absolutely true” when I challenged Vitter to sign an affidavit denying his alleged association with Wendy Cortez!
And, as far as I know, I am the only person who has ever challenged Sen. Vitter in the matter of his likely use of prostitutes.
Too bad that the Democratic Party did not have the political fortitude to use Vitter’s admission in a commercial in the 2010 Senate race as the Romney campaign has misquoted President Obama saying that people haven’t created their own businesses.
And for more on that Romney attack, please check out:
And Sen. Vitter remains adamant that “nothing” happened in New Orleans!
And Steve, as you well know, I e-mail articles and columns – to liberals and conservatives - of political, and general interest, on a daily basis to a list of persons who have an interest in reading the articles and columns. And anyone who would wish to have their e-mail address added to my list is most welcome to send an e-mail to: [email protected] and write add to your list on the subject line.
Furthermore, your e-mail address will not be sold and you will not be solicited.
Q: If there is one issue that bothers you the most of all issues, what is it and why?
The issue which I have been most concerned with for decades is providing basic health care services to “all” Americans.
My father, for many years, worked to pay health insurance for my mother and when my mother was hospitalized with hypertension, the coverage was soon thereafter cancelled!
Private health insurance providers cannot be bothered by those pesky people who have needs for vital health care coverage and my dear mother died of a massive heart attack while having no health care coverage and, being a hypertension patient, was unable to obtain health care coverage!
The first column I wrote for righthandthief.blogspot.com regarded health care reform and would be honored if your readers would check out the column -- “Understanding is Key to Reforming Health Care; Not Misinformation.” And the link to the column is at:
And my respect and admiration goes out to President Obama for having the political courage and ability to make possible the first program which will provide access to most Americans affordable and accessible health care services -– including vital health care exams and health screenings.
Q: If there is one message you want to get out that personifies you, what is it?
A: That message would be what I consider the central, and most important, tenant of the Christian faith:
"Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
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