"The blog has made Glab into a hip town crier, commenting on everything from local politics and cultural happenings to national and international events, all rendered in a colorful, intelligent, working-class vernacular that owes some of its style to Glab’s Chicago-hometown heroes Studs Terkel and Mike Royko." — David Brent Johnson in Bloom Magazine
“It was the labor movement that helped secure so much of what we take for granted today. The 40-hour work week, the minimum wage, family leave, health insurance, Social Security, Medicare, retirement plans. The cornerstones of the middle class security all bear the union label.” — Barack Obama
IU experimental nuclear physicist Michael Snow will deliver the first presentation on Antimatter.
Physicist Michael Snow
Brain scientist Alex Straiker, who’s organizing this latest incarnation with lab-mate Jim Wager-Miller, says the shebang will begin at 6:30pm at Rachael’s Cafe.
This fall’s science topics will also include “The First Americans,” “Climate Change and Bloomington,” and “Brain-Machine Interfaces: Eye Tracking.”
FLYNT HUSTLES MITT
Hustler was among the worst porn I’ve ever seen in my life.
I say was because I haven’t seen the mag in years. Maybe even decades.
So I have no idea what unflattering poses its intentionally half-witted looking models are being put into these days. Suffice it to say I recall them reclining akimbo to such an extent that were I so trained, I could proffer them instant cervical exams from afar.
That is, were I moved open the mag’s pages.
I just never found the thing arousing. I consider my tastes in unclad women fairly, um, progressive. I mean I don’t need my pix of naked ladies to feature impossibly long-legged and wasp-waisted, vacant-staring, “hotties” with plastic half-cantaloupes on their chests.
That’s me. Apparently the vast majority of American male-dom (male-dumb?) digs that look. Hustler had it in spades.
The mag’s circulation stands at around half a million these days, down from a high of 3 million per month in its pre-Interwebs hayday.
Larry Flynt, the visionary behind Hustler, long has been a scourge to the Right, specifically its self-appointed plaster saints like the late Jerry Falwell and the regrettably still-respiring Gov. Rick Perry. That alone earns my grudging respect for him even though I hold my nose while stating it.
You know, those things Ann Romney, hands on hips, jaw set, has refused to allow us to see. She says she and her special guy have nothing to hide, therefore they’re hiding the returns.
We’ve Given ‘You People’ Enough!
If someone does come through with the docs that’ll tie Romney in with an arch-criminal, global, underground, crushing tyrannical corporate syndicate looking to addict the world population to dangerous chemicals, financial “instruments,” and magic underwear, then a million bucks’-worth of the dough Flynt made portraying woman as DNA receptacles will have done some good.
Of course, it’ll be just as good if the elusive tax returns simply reveal the Romneys to be richer than the spooky god they worship.
I CAN SEE FOR MILES AND MILES AND MILES….
Here, thanks to I Fucking Love Science (or, for the more skittish among us, Science Is Awesome) is a comparison of the mirror sizes of the Hubble Space Telescope and the proposed James Webb Space Telescope.
Is there an “edge” to the Universe? Maybe, the JWST will allow us to see it.
“Some believers accuse skeptics of having nothing left but a dull, cold, scientific world. I am left with art, music, literature, theater, the magnificence of nature, mathematics, the human spirit, sex, the cosmos, friendship, history, science, imagination, dreams, oceans, mountains, love, and the wonder of birth. That’ll do for me.” — Lynne Kelly
It’s the perfect illustration of how weird and busted our health care system and overall economy are. Richest nation in the history of the world — millions of people uninsured, poverty-stricken, uneducated, and sick.
Oh, that invisible hand.
THE NATION’S HAND-HOLDER
Barack Obama showed up in Aurora, Colorado yesterday to console the families of the victims of that legal gun owner, James Holmes.
Obama In Aurora
You, know, Ronald Reagan perfected this aspect of the presidential portfolio. Say what you will about Saint Ronald — and I’ve said plenty about the most terrifying president of my lifetime — he was brilliant as our chief cheerleader, mourner, and tucker of the nation into bed at night.
Mike Royko once wrote that Reagan was a miserable prez for domestic issues and a riverboat gambler when it came to foreign affairs, but he was so good at the above-mentioned tasks that he ought to have been named king for life. He could handle all those warm and fuzzy duties while staying as far away as possible from the more pressing work of the White House.
And that was George W. Bush’s undoing. His abominable showing after Hurricane Katrina led to his downfall, the fracturing of his party, and the election of Obama himself. Reagan would have spent many an hour letting the folks of New Orleans he was with them.
Bush, for his part, seemed blase about the whole deal, his most memorable utterance being that famous frat-boy backslapping, “Brownie, yer doin’ a heckuva of a job.”
It’s Yucky Down There
Obama’s got this part of the job down pat.
HILLER THE WOODSMITH; HILLER THE WORDSMITH
Our own Nancy Hiller has a big piece coming out in the October edition of Fine Woodworking (#228).
A little shameless promotion here: we’ll be carrying the mag at the Book Corner. Oh, we’ve got the book, too. See you there.
CRAZY — TERRIFYINGLY CRAZY
This weekend I noticed a number of references on Facebook to the deranged theory that the Aurora, Colorado shooting was a false flag op carried out by one-worlders eager to strip the the planet’s citizenry of their sacred armaments
The theory goes like this:
The United Nations is pushing its Arms Trade Treaty. See, some of the nations of Earth are making tons of dough selling pistols, rifles, automatic weapons, rocket launchers, mortars, and every other conceivable firearm short of nuclear bombs to the poorer countries so those little guys can shoot themselves up good.
The UN is saying, Hey, let’s slow this biz down a little, huh.
Business As Usual
Natch, the gun people in this holy land think this is the absolute worst infringement on our rights imaginable. They feel the UN treaty is only the first slide down the slippery slope to the seizure of all guns from all god-fearing Americans.
Don’t ask me why they think that. I can’t begin to explain the psycho-sexual love people have for guns around these parts.
Suffice it to say, though, that the Great United States, Inc. is the world’s largest exporter of firearms. Every war in every corner of the Earth is being fought with Americans guns.
It couldn’t be that those simple folk fretting about our sacred rights are being set up by American gun manufacturers and dealers, could it?
Anyway, this weird, weird conspiracy theory holds that James Holmes is sort of a Manchurian Candidate who was hypnotized or drugged to do his dirty deed Friday night, thereby whipping up the namby-pamby nannies of the nation to shriek for gun control.
Yeah, I know, it can’t get any more psychotic.
In fact, I put a post up on Facebook myself the other day saying the next person who espoused this lunacy would be de-friended by me immediately and gleefully.
My old trivia competition pal Andy Wallingford of Louisville took note of my post. He sent me a message and a photo. “Remember,” he wrote, “when conspiracy theories were fun?”
The US Air Force Tunnel Borer
The conspiracy theorists have put forth a variety of reasons the United Sates Air Force would own the machine picture above. The top among them include the idea that the federal government is creating a vast series of underground mountain tunnels in the western United States, wherein our leaders can retreat and live in splendor while the rest of us die horrible deaths from disease, war, poison gas, asteroid collisions or some other such calamity.
Beautiful words: “God, how he loved the Cubs, and the Cubs’ fans.”
Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.
Perhaps too many people who have no formal training mess around with firearms.
So, I suggest the Official State Gunshot Wound be a hole blown in the shooter’s own left biceps. Every time an aspiring gun lover accidentally puts a slug in his own arm, he’ll be brought to Indianapolis to display his wound to legislators. His photo will appear in the Indy Star, he’ll be taken for a nice lunch at Shapiro’s Deli, and he’ll get two free tickets to whatever game is in season.
And A Treasured Wound
He’ll be declared a True Hoosier, an honor I just invented. As such, he’ll receive a plaque as well as a little sticker he can affix to his drivers license.
FAREWELL, LITTLE GUY
Super Tuesday, huh? Not so super for good old Dennis Kucinich. Perhaps the only remaining unabashed liberal (or progressive, or whatever) politician left in this holy land, Kucinich lost his Democratic primary battle with fellow Congressbeing Marcy Kaptur.
K & K: House Colleagues No More
Redistricting had combined Kucinich and Kaptur’s districts and the longest-serving woman in Congress wiped the floor with her opponent in her home county, providing her margin of victory.
Kucinich was probably the one national pol nearest to me in philosophy, save for his initial antediluvian views on abortion. He was a strong opponent of the Iraq War, pushed for universal health care, was big on workers’ rights, and even once proposed a Cabinet-level Department of Peace. Still, I never would have wanted him to be president.
He ran for the White House, you know, in 2004. That’s when he suddenly realized he was for abortion rights. I don’t demand that my fave pols walk in lockstep with me on every single issue, and I suppose I cut Kucinich slack because his early abortion stance likely was based upon the ideal Roman Catholic notion of respect for all life. He did oppose the death penalty as well so he seemed to be consistent in that regard.
But President Kucinich? Never. He would have been chewed up and spit out by the big-money boys. That’s the sad thing about today’s America, I guess. The nearest we can ever come to having a real liberal (or progressive, or whatever) in the White House would be the pair of Rockefeller Republicans who’ve carried the Democratic banner to victory in the last 20 years.
Anyway, Kucinich’ll be gone from Washington come the new year. And the nation continues its inexorable move to the right.
Come on admit it: With Rick Santorum’s chances of gaining the Republican nomination fading ever so gradually, you know you’ll miss him when he’s gone.
As long as it remains highly unlikely he’ll ascend to the chancellorship in November, Santorum serves as the evil jester of the 2012 presidential race.
Take these little tidbits dug up by the folks at Mother Jones. When Rickey-baby was running for Senator from Pennsylvania back in 1994, he had lots to say about single mothers. Not that theirs was a thankless task, nor that we as a people ought to lend a hand to women trying to raise families and keep jobs without the assistance of partner daddy-o’s.
Wrecking The Nation
No. Santorum told supporters at one point, “We are seeing the fabric of this country fall apart, and it’s falling apart because of single moms.”
A couple of weeks later, he amplified this view. “What we have,” he explained, “is moms raising children in single-parent households simply breeding more criminals.”
Let’s not even trouble ourselves with his faulty logic and his obsessive need to blame people’s sexual behavior for everything that’s wrong in the lord god’s creation. Just consider his use of the word breeding.
You know, as in what we humans do with livestock.
There are a million scary places in this world but the scariest of all just might be the inner recesses of Rick Santorum’s mind.
The young Huffington took to the rostrum in England, where Hiller spent part of her callow youth. Hiller writes glowingly of the then-28-year-old future media magnate. Hiller also expresses gratitude for The Huffington Post naming her tome, “A Home of Her Own,” one of its Books We Love last year.
Now, Hiller’s the ideal role model for young girls. She has struck out on her own to create a successful business, she makes art, and she has thrived in a trade usually dominated by men.
It’s understandable that Hiller would speak kindly of Huffington, who also has made it big in a man’s world. I’m happy Hiller’s getting ink (and electrons) for her terrific book. And, hell, I’m a regular reader of The Huffington Post. But I’m gonna throw a bucket of ice water on this Arianna love fest.
Born Arianna Stassinopoulos, she has been working her way up the ranks of the world’s most opportunistic human beings for all of her 61 years. She has tied her star to men who could advance her career since she was a schoolgirl.
Fresh out of college, she hooked up with British television personality Bernard Levin, known as the most famous UK journalist of his day. He was also a game show panelist. She helped Levin become an adherent of a woo religion and he helped her write books and get them published. She called him the love of her life.
In the mid ’80s, she took a job as the closeted wannabe-politician Michael Huffington’s beard. She got tired of that charade in 1997 but has been known as Arianna Huffington ever since.
Huffington started her American media career as a conservative commentator when Bill Clinton was in office. Lots of conservative talking heads made hay back then. But as time passed and it appeared there was only room for the likes of Rush Limbaugh and some other blowhards, she switched to the liberal side. It was an inspired career move.
She started up The Huffington Post and built it into a powerhouse. She sold the shebang in 2011 for $315M. That’s a pretty nifty payday. Oh yes, payday. A concept whose absence she employed to make that concern wildly successful. Arianna Huffington was a capitalist visonary: she finally found the way to get labor to work for free.
I suppose what I’m really trying to say is Nancy Hiller is a far better person than Arianna Huffington.
It’s Huffington who should be expressing admiration for Hiller rather than vice-versa.
Further proof that no matter how much a despot crushes them, too many people in this mad, mad, mad, mad world dig being under someone’s thumb
Kim And Some Other Bully
CHIMPS IN THE HOUSE
The Herald Times reports that Indiana state law does not govern the keeping of primates such as gorillas and chimpanzees as pets. The deep-thinkers in the state legislature, though, have demonstrated enough foresight to draw up regulations covering lions and crocodiles in the home. Phew.
Do I need to say this? If you yield to your burning desire to keep a chimp as a pet, you deserve it if he tears your face off.
Trust Me — He Doesn’t Want To Live In Your House
A GREAT BOOK MAKES A GREAT GIFT
Look, it’s the last week of the Christmas shopping orgy. If you don’t buy at least one copy of Nancy R. Hiller‘s gorgeous book, “A Home of Her Own,” as a gift, well, there’s nothing medical or psychiatric science can do for you.
WE DO FACEBOOK SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO
A no spamily, no brattle zone.
◗ For years I’ve been saying I don’t trust people who don’t have books in their homes. My gang generally displays their books the way Ma & Pa Normal show off their wall-sized TVs or their new gas-guzzlers. But I had a nice conversation with Tyler Ferguson at Soma Coffee Saturday. We chatted of this and that and at one point she confided that she doesn’t read books, which surprised me because she’s a pretty smart cookie.
Tyler pointed out that she’s unable to sit still long enough to read. Can’t argue with that because she has the energy of the uranium atom. She’s involved with every single sport that has ever been concocted by the human mind. In fact, I hear she’s trying to start up a pitz league here in Bloomington. Pitz was a game played by pre-Columbian Meso-Americans starting around 1000 BCE. It was similar to volleyball, but was played with solid rubber balls. No word yet on whether Tyler’s new league will include the ritual human sacrifices of captives and slaves or the beheadings of the losing team’s captain that so thrilled the Maya and other crowds.
Anyway, how can I turn my back on Tyler Ferguson, one of our town’s true characters? I trust her with my life, or at least my laptop while I run to the restroom.
So I’ll amend my pronouncement: I don’t trust people who don’t have books in their homes — except for Tyler. Otherwise, I agree with the slogan in the Wall Photo shared by Mike Cagle and Craig L. Worrell: “If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fk them.”
“I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth.” Molly Ivins said it. I wish I could have had the pleasure of spending a long night drinking beer and raising hell with her. She was my kind of gal; she had a dog named Shit. She died of breast cancer in 2007.
TOO DUMB TO SUCCEED
Maybe the hyenas who run the big outfits that foisted that flood of sub-prime loans upon us, driving us into a world of underfunded schools, unemployment, lost retirement nest eggs, and such are right when they say they’re special because they’re smart.
After all, these eels created “financial instruments” that were inscrutable, made them gobs of dough, and collapsed several investment banks and other financial institutions. Still they roam the streets free.
They are smart. Immoral, bestial, craven, and nefarious, sure. But smart.
As opposed to the man who stole a tuba, valued at $3500, from the University of Evansville. WFIE Channel 14 in the southern Indiana town reports that Kevin Neal called a local music store saying he had a tuba he wanted to sell. The music store owner said come on over. While waiting for Neal, the storekeep got a call from the music director at the U of E, saying — you guessed it — the school’s tuba had been stolen.
This Is Not A Financial Instrument
Too bad for Neal; the music store proprietor had recently sold the tuba to the school so he knew exactly what it looked like. It was, the music man concluded, too much of a coincidence.
The cops were called. They staked out the music shop, ID’d the alleged thief from security videotapes, and slapped the bracelets on Neal. He spent last night in the Vandenburgh County lockup.
He has now spent more time in jail than any of the smart baboons who bilked the planet out of trillions.
Susie Bright of Santa Cruz, California is one of the cool ones. The writer/entertainer essentially created the category “sex-positive feminist” back in the 1980s as a reaction to the joyless prigs who seemed to be ruling the feminist world at the time.
Susie is not happy about the new federal regs concerning the Plan B One-Step birth control pill. Nor is essayist Katha Pollitt happy. Susie links to Pollitt’s piece in The Nation about the Obama administration’s endorsement of new rules that turn women into children who need to be lectured about their naughty urge to fuck.
By pandering to religious fetishists who view sex as icky and men who are scared of women, Barack Obama is demonstrating that he wants to keep his job in the worst way.