Mayor John Hamilton and a gang of swells from the IU Health outfit will announce, momentarily, plans for the soon to be deserted Bloomington Hospital campus. The sparkling new H. is slated to arise on the site of the old university golf driving range at the SR 46 bypass between 10th and 17th streets.
Mayor Mark Kruzan in 2015 tabbed a blue-ribbon committee to consider what to do with the current hospital site on 2nd Street and Rogers Avenue. The committee, headed by B-town political doyenne Vi Simpson, had the thankless job of trying to come up with a visionary plan for the 24-acre site that’ll be abandoned in 2020 when the new digs open up. Plenty o’folks, including an ad hoc group of citizens, academics, and retired pols, see the site as some kind of nirvana-ish olio of social service centers, affordable housing, and thriving businesses.
If that unofficial study group realizes its vision, the former IU health/Bloomington Hospital location will be the first such successful dreamscape in the history of the human universe.
A city the size of Bloomington has deep needs for homeless shelters, drug rehab centers, houses and apartments within financial reach of the non-rich, and shops and offices providing jobs and tax revenues. Problem is, nobody wants to live near a drug rehab center. Nobody wants the homeless traipsing through their neighborhoods. And nobody wants the traffic and parking congestion that accompany healthy going concerns.
Whatever Hamilton and the IU Health people announce today, you can bet the mortgage payment that a wide swath of the citizenry will stomp their feet and say hell no.
A Public Service
Friends, let me prepare you for the 2020 presidential election:
- The Democratic candidate — whoever she or he may be — very likely will be in thrall and in debt to Wall Street and the rest of the Goldman Sachs mob, big corporations, and ultra-rich individual campaign contributors.
- That candidate also very likely will be what many of my friends on the Left like to call a neo-liberal, meaning, I believe, someone who espouses a brand of laissez-faire capitalism.
Both of these conditions may discourage you. They may even sicken you. Myself, I’m feeling a little queasy just typing this stuff out.
That said, the reason No. 1 will hold is this holy land’s political system runs on money. Much more than $1 billion will be spent by the two major candidates in the next presidential election. The Reagan/Bush Supreme Court essentially knitted that into the nation’s fabric when it ruled in favor of Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission in 2010. There is no way around it since the 114th Congress hijacked the court by denying a hearing for Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, to succeed the late Antonin Scalia.
No matter how saintly or of-the-people some heretofore unknown rising star will appear during the primaries, if that candidate isn’t able to raise her/his share of the $1 billion-plus, s/he will lose. Period.
As for No. 2, well, this is America. We worship wealth. Our national religion is capitalism. We elected an unqualified, unknowledgeable, incurious, hateful, spiteful, probably mentally disturbed boor as president mainly because he is a billionaire. That’s how much we value riches. Anyone who is not a laissez-faire capitalist, to one degree or another, will be viewed as a sicko ranking two or three rungs lower on the disgust ladder than a molester of teenaged girls.
Look at America — don’t just look at your close circle of friends.
If you truly wish this all to change then you’d better be prepared to shed blood and/or have your own blood be shed. Otherwise, clip a clothespin to your nose and vote for whomever is running against President Gag.