The Pencil Today:

Bad Guys

Were I paranoiac, I might holler that my beloved hometown is being taken over by the forces of evil.

Chicago a bit more than ten years ago became home to Boeing International, one of this holy land’s biggest war profiteers as well as a serial tax avoider, profligate lobbyist, and political bankroller. Then, four years ago, the Trump Tower on the Chicago River was topped out at 1389 feet. Donald Trump owns the joint (or, more accurately, led the consortium that begged and borrowed enough dough to guarantee the skyscraper would bear his name) and we all know how I feel about that particular vulture capitalist-slash-financial pirate.

Trump/Chicago

Trump’s Monument To Himself

And now comes the news that the villainous Koch Brothers are making a big play for the Tribune Company newspaper properties including the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Orlando Sentinel, Baltimore Sun, and Hartford Courant.

Now why would these savvy plutocrats opt to sink two-thirds of a billion dollars into what is universally agreed to be an industry on life support? The key, apparently, is their desire to remake the nation in their Mephistophelian image.

A front-pager in Sunday’s New York Times posits that the Koch’s have a plan for world domination. It would make Lex Luthor, Dr. No, the Joker, and Ozymandias look like hubcap thieves.

The Kochs inherited their wealth. They were born on third base, the aphorism goes, and have convinced themselves they hit a triple. A mere 90 feet from home plate, they’ve gone through life believing that destination is theirs by birthright and the rest of the world must be bent, folded, and mutilated to facilitate their journey thereto.

Kochs

Lucky Baserunners

According to NYT reporter Amy Chozik, Chucky & Davie have crafted a three-pronged plan to rule the planet. The first two tines include financing “grass roots” campaigns like the Tea Party and donating millions to political candidates. Controlling a large swath of the nation’s news media would complete their demonic trident.

Eek.

The Koch boys are noted libertarians, which is a nice way of saying they want what they want and everybody else can go to hell. Libertarianism is the preferred political philosophy of adults whose emotional and intellectual growth was stunted at the age of 15. If the mythic motto of these United States is “All men are created equal” and that of the Tea Party is “Don’t tread on me,” the watchphrase of Libertarians is “You can’t make me.”

Libertarians

Me, Me, Me

Should the Kochs succeed in taking over the TribCo newspapers, it’ll be one giant leap in the inexorable march toward an official corporatocracy. As Fran Lebowitz once said, “In the Soviet Union, capitalism triumphed over communism. In this country, capitalism triumphed over democracy.”

If we’re not there already, it won’t be too long before We the People becomes The Company Is King.

On Second Thought

I started this post last night, full of P & V, pounding the keyboard like a man possessed. My slant on the above screed was going to be my lengthy roster of betes noires including such archvillains as Trump, Roger Ailes, Karl Rove, Lloyd Blankfein, and Michele Bachmann. I made fleeting mention of such circus clowns as Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, and Ann Coulter. The idea being, there’s a ton of bad guys in the political soap opera but few are as heinous as the Kochs.

Beck

Circus Clown

On my way to demonizing the Wichita Warlocks, I detoured to riff about the evil dead Andrew Breitbart.

Man, did I rave! Here’s a sample couple of grafs:

I was overjoyed, for instance, when I heard the news that Andrew Breitbart had died suddenly a little more than a year ago. The adopted son of privilege, he trafficked in hateful innuendo, character assassination, and disinformation. His rhetoric was awash in both coded and overt racism and homophobia. His aim was not to educate or illuminate but to torment and cause mayhem. He sabotaged the career of Shirley Sherrod of the USDA for the unforgivable sin of revealing her own struggles with prejudice (and, BTW, triumphing over them) and he was instrumental in the demise of the social service agency ACORN. He helped no one but himself. He added to the misery of the unfortunate and the downtrodden. It would take 30 men and women to perform the amount of good he’d need to accrue to balance the moral book of his life. To this day, his breitbart.com still spews scurrilous accusations and fairy tale “revelations.”

When his heart stopped beating, the overall decency of the human race was nudged up a notch.

My rationalization for such acidity was the idea that there exist human beings whose existence detracts from the general welfare of humanity and we should celebrate their passing. Surely no same person would argue that the world would be better if only Adolph Hitler, Idid Amin, or any member of the New York Yankees were allowed to live.

Then I took a break and started surfing the interwebs, whereupon I read this Facebook post by the thoughtful and gentle Janet Cheatham Bell:

From Facebook

Suddenly I felt like a boor for dancing on Andrew Breitbart’s grave. Here’s what I wrote in response:

From Facebook

I feel somehow lacking in my inability to be as forgiving and loving as the man who wrote the article to which Janet links. And, for that matter, as all-embracing as Janet herself. So I scrapped my original draft of today’s post and got to work pounding out this one.

I can’t say I feel any kindlier toward Andrew Breitbart. But I will concede this: It’s those second thoughts which make us human. I thank Janet Cheatham Bell for making me think twice.

2 thoughts on “The Pencil Today:

  1. Susan Sandberg says:

    Always good to count to 10 before hitting the send button. That said, I continue to hunger for those in our community who read, write, think and write scathing expose’s about our darker instincts and evil influences. We need that honesty just as much as we need the compassionate forgivers who embrace the world in all its ugliness. Not giving you permission to snark at will, Big Mike, just saying there is a place for hard-hitting critiques that call people out for their unthinkable actions. Think twice, but….be you!

  2. dave paglis, illiterate, racist homophobe and now, dumpster diver says:

    Another top shelf post Mike. Well done. Don’t agree with your characterizations of the money boys though. Trump is a douche but he along with the Koch boys he has created more wealth than most of us. I am starting Money Take All…, looks like it is going to be a stiff challenge to my views.

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