Let’s Play Two!
A Cubs giant is now playing with the angels.
Ernie Banks, January 31, 1931 — January 23, 2015
Givin’ ‘Em What They Want
Funny, I just happened to glance at the numbers for this global communications colossus and whaddya think I found? Yeah, the Pencil in recent weeks has garnered some of its biggest daily unique visitors stats since its inception.
For those of you unhip to the jargon of the interwebs, unique visitors are individual people who request to view pages within a given period. The number is much more indicative of a site’s or a blog’s popularity than simply the number of hits it gets. If I, f’rinstance, visit the website for the North American Nude Motorcycle Riders Association I’m a unique visitor. But if I visit the site, say, 23 times in a day, each visit counts as a hit. Then NANMRA can brag it got 23 hits out of me when in reality I’m just one guy doing, um, research.
So, yeah, I’ve been drawing unique visitors by the bushelful of late. Only I’ve hardly been posting at all since the first week of December.
The conclusion? The populace of this holy land prefers looking at a blank page than actually reading a Pencil post. Thanks, America!
Meet The New Boss
So, while I’ve been busy transcribing interview tapes for Charlotte Zietlow’s memoir, Bloomington’s 2015 mayoral race has begun to take shape. The front runners right now appear to be City Council member Darryl Neher and 2011 mayoral bridesmaid John Hamilton. Both, naturally, are Democrats.
Neher (L) & Hamilton
There are, to be sure, a couple of Republicans who’ve declared their candidacies. If you want to know who they are or what they look like, check the milk carton in your refrigerator.
Unless some surprise Dem candidate jumps into the fray, this town’s next mayor will be Neher or Hamilton. I can live with either. Neher has been blessed by outgoing Mayor Mark Kruzan. Hamilton’s the darling of Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law where his bride, Dawn Johnsen, is a prof.
Whoever cops the big office, he (or she, should a woman opt in and win) will be in charge of an historically small town that has designs on big city-ness. Hotels are sprouting up like fungi. Tallish apartment developments have turned College Avenue near Courthouse Square into a mini canyon. Quaint shops and Mom & Pop stores have been replaced by glitzy sports and wine bars downtown. Moneyed students from around the country and, for that matter, around the world are tooling down Kirkwood Avenue in shiny luxury SUVs and even Maseratis.
Townies loathe the new Bloomington. IU digs it the most. Hamilton, as mentioned, has an IU connection — his campaign once again will be raising scads of cash from law school instructors. Neher is a senior lecturer at IU’s Kelley School of Business. Loads o’folks are going moan that either candidate will be doing the dirty work of the archcriminal Michael McRobbie. Problem is, that’s a facile charge. IU Prez McRobbie’s wishes by and large would be granted no matter who claims the mayor’s chair, even if it were someone like a young, contrarian, Charlotte Zietlow.
With Citizens Like These, Who Needs….
“Citizens United” may be two of the dirtiest words in the English language these days.
That’s the moniker attached to the landmark US Supreme Court decision allowing corporations and large organizations to send dump trucks full of cash to political candidates despite legislation and regulations designed to minimize the effect of money on the electoral process. Citizens United, the group, argued that money is speech and the Reagan/Bush/Bush court gleefully agreed.
As a result, elections today give us the finest candidates money can buy.
Citizens United is a Right Wing gang that screeches for our holy land to withdraw from the United Nations, considers the ACLU to be at war with America, has worked hand in hand with the thankfully dead Andrew Brietbart to portray the Occupy movement as a mob of rapists and drugged-up vandals, and even characterized John McCain as a dangerous liberal. In short, it’s a club for lunatics.
The club is holding its annual Iowa Freedom Summit this weekend, wherein bitter, suspicious, xenophobic sociopaths can gather and tell each other how saintly and patriotic they are. Speakers this year include:
- Sarah Palin (natch)
- Ted Cruz
- Mike Huckabee
- Rick Santorum
- Donald Trump
- Joni Ernst
- the eternally pissed John Bolton
Joni Ernst: Leading America Into The 1950s
Attendees will fall all over themselves cheering for these rage monkeys. Ayn Rand’s and Ronald Reagan’s names are sure to be strewn about like pocket candy at a child molesters convention. Oh, and Jesus Christ himself is sure to be welcomed in spirit. Not, of course, the spirit the “son of god” intended but, y’know.