Hot Air: Not Good Enough

All Or Nothing

Think of a few passionate, grass-roots type groups. Here are some examples:

  • Those who call for more intra-neighborhood commerce; they usually employ the line Buy Local.
  • Animal rights advocates.
  • Those who push for minority-owned businesses to serve minority communities.
  • Foodies who espouse farm-to-table eating.

First thing that comes to my mind? They’re all progressive, or liberal, or anti-establishment, or of the Left, or what in the hell ever more acceptable sobriquet we can use these days to describe such people without being pelting with eggs by the language mob.

If we’re being casual about the whole thing, we’d suppose members of each of these groups raise their fists in solidarity every chance they get. The lot of them prob. would crinkle their noses at the very mention of President Gag’s name. They likely see the NRA, Big Pharma, Citizens United, Goldman Sachs, and the Tea Party as cancers ravaging the body of our holy land.

Hell, pick any citizen of Bloomington and the odds are overwhelming s/he’d happily describe her or himself a proud member of all four of those clubs.

But the United States is bigger than Bloomington, natch. The nation is crawling with Free Marketeers, gun rightists, the Christian Taliban, nativists, anti-immigrationists, prosperity gospel-ists, white supremacists, Wall Street Republicans, Main Street Republicans, militarists, moralists, those who are nauseated by the mere sound of the letters LGBTQ, traditionalists, slam ’em in prison and throw away the key types, anti-intellectuals, and other such deep thinkers.

Call them the Right, for lack of a better word. They snarl at each other on occasion, albeit usually in private. Sometimes their intramural rivalries burst out in the open, as they have within the last couple of years with the rise of Li’l Duce. Among the many barbs the candidate hurled at his competitors for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination were liar, child molester, pathological, liker of Mexican illegals, ugly, a profuse perspirer, stupid, a total disaster, a slob, and even the son of a presidential assassin.

Yet every single rival candidate so pilloried by Li’l Duce jumped on his bandwagon the instant he became the Republican nominee. There’s the old line: At election time, Republicans fall into line….

And if there’s one thing the Left disdains, it’s falling into line. Unless it’s a protest line. Such as one that popped up last month in one of my old neighborhoods in Chicago.

See, there’s a minority business owner who runs a butcher shop in the West Town neighborhood. He sells live chickens. You walk in, point at a particularly juicy looking clucker, and the butcher then relieves said fowl of its earthly cares, the first step in turning it into tonight’s dinner.

Image: Chicago Animal Save

Selling live chickens has long been a minority tradition in big city neighborhoods. My own mother told me about how her mom used to flip her a quarter and tell her to go down to the live butcher to fetch a couple of healthy birds for that day’s evening repast. Only back then, my mother recalled, she’d have to carry the live chickens home, hoping to hell one or the other wouldn’t flap away, otherwise her mother’d clunk her on the head. In those days, Sicilian mothers’d do the slaughtering themselves, just to gain the extra 20 or so minutes of freshness out of their hens.

The West Town butcher has been in business for years. It is owned by an Arab who employs other Arabs. The shop’s clientele includes Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Arabs, Chinese, young professionals, artists and other bohemians, really, the gamut of big city demographics. Customers say you’d better get to the shop early on a Sunday morning as the customer line is out the door and down the block before noon.

The butcher shop, Pollos Vivos, serves nicely as the ideal model for three of the four aforementioned Left-ish causes. It’s a local business, minority-owned, supplying farm-to-table comestibles. It’s the fourth cause, though, that brought protesters out in September.

Animal rights people marched in front of the place one morning demanding it be shut down. Killing chickens is an unforgivable sin, the members of Chicago Animal Save posit.

In baseball, .750 would be a spectacularly successful batting average. In progressive political circles these days, it’s as bad as batting .000.

Reason No. 7,628 why it’s getting harder and harder for the left to win elections in this holy land.

Barge Talk

Barge Campaigning Last Year

Speaking of progressive political circles, there still are reasonable folks carrying the banner, one of them being first-term Monroe County Commissioner Amanda Barge.

She visited with me yesterday in Big Talk. Well, really, she dropped by Tuesday — the interview aired yesterday on WFHB. I’m not shy to admit I love her to pieces, both as a public office holder and a person.

Did you miss yesterday’s Big Talk? Go here for the feature and here for the unedited, original interview.

Talk later.


Oh, and speaking of baseball — I couldn’t be happier that both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees lost their division series openers last night.

Thursday Winners

Well, wait. Actually I could be happier — that is, if my beloved Cubs dispatch the Washington Nationals in quick order, beginning with tonight’s series opener in the nation’s capital.


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