Category Archives: Equal Pay

Hot Air


I’ll say this: If you don’t like what the sky, the winds, and the greenery are doing to us these days, you’re beyond help.


Lake Monroe At Sunset, Saturday

Ready, Aim….

You didn’t catch this in today’s Herald Times because the City Council didn’t get around to voting until well after the paper’s midnight deadline, but our dear elected leaders voted to allow that controversial deer shoot around Griffy Lake.


… Fire!

Only Dorothy Granger and Steve Volan voted against it. Council chambers were packed yesterday with folks railing against the cull.

I’m in favor of whacking the deer if their meat can be harvested to feed the homeless. Same with Canada geese.

Greed Is Good

Ben Stein, whose greatest contribution to society thus far has been the movie line “Anyone? Anyone?”, opened his caviar hole again the other day and told us how lucky we are that our species can boast among its membership the subspecies, billionaire.

“They fund symphonies and ballets and schools for inner city kids. They are a bulwark against tyranny because they can afford lawyers to fight overweening government,” Stein said, as reported by Raw Story.

Y’know, because the poor keep all their money to themselves, the selfish slobs.

Food Stamp

The Poor Keep Their Assets To Themselves

Not content with elevating the likes of the Koch Bros. to sainthood, Stein also pontificates upon the poor.

“My humble observation is that most long-term poverty is caused by self-sabotage by individuals. Drug use. Drunkenness. Having children without a family structure. Gambling. Poor work habits. Disastrously unfortunate appearance. Above all, and counted in the preceding list, psychological problems (very much including basic laziness) cause people to be unemployed, have poor or no work habits, and enter and stay in poverty,” he said.

No word yet on whether Stein solved the eternal chicken-or-egg conundrum.

More evidence that a certain percentage of people in this holy land see the accumulation of wealth and those who obsessively participate in it as, de facto, good.

Mr. Pennybags

Whee, Me!

Again, for the benefit of those on my side of the fence who wonder aloud how folks can keep voting for candidates whose raison d’etre is to further grease the already-frictionless path for the pathologically rich, lots of our national brethren and sisteren truly believe wealth — gobs of it, obscene piles of it, more than anybody could ever need in one lifetime or ten — makes the holder thereof morally, ethically, philosophically, and evolutionarily superior to the rest of us.

And it isn’t just the wealthy who buy into this — if so, coatholders for the plutocracy such as Paul Ryan or Scott Walker would never win an election. The 1% (in truth, more like 0.01%) has all the dough, sure, but they by definition constitute only that eensy sliver of the electorate. No, the mids and the poors revere wealth just as much as Sheldon Adelson or Joe Ricketts do. They think that if they’d just played their cards right and the breaks all had fallen their way, they, too, would have amassed a fortune big enough to buy elections, legislators, and, well…, heaven here on Earth.

Let’s go a step further: most of the mids and poors still dream that they’ll reach the rarefied heights of billionaire-dom one day, no matter how entrenched they are in their caste today.

That’s the American Dream: One day I’ll be richer, and better, than you.


OTOH, how to explain the continued love affair half the electorate has with the Republicans, 100 percent of whose Senate members voted, essentially, against the equal pay bill?

I assume women vote Republican. And, if so, why? The GOP as far back as the 1970s demonstrated its loathing for dames by killing the Equal Rights Amendment. They haven’t done anything since to indicate that their view of females as brood sows and fap objects has changed a whit.

Being a double-X chromosomer and voting for Republicans is like being an Oglala Lakota and pulling for the 7th Cavalry. You’re all mixed up.

Crazy Horse

Crazy Horse: “Go, Custer!”

The Pencil Today:


“Whether women are better than men I cannot say — but I can say they are certainly no worse.” — Golda Meir


Wait a minute!

You mean to tell me that the average woman still is making about 77 cents to the average man’s dollar?

And the Senate and the House aren’t in any particular hurry to rectify the situation?

Here’s a personal message to my friends who possess different plumbing than I do:

Do something about it! Because men sure as hell aren’t gonna do it for you.

Would it be so godawful for women to stage a Euro-style general strike for, say, a day or even two after congressional Republicans, as expected, squelch the Paycheck Fairness Act?


Click the logo to find out what’s going on in Bloomington today.


I’m not against people making piles of dough. I dream about it and, most likely, so do you.

But when is the pile big enough? Does the job that Cigna CEO David Cordani does warrant a paycheck that amounts to more than $50K a day?

What talents bordering on magic does he bring to the office that would impel his company to devote that much of its financial resources to him lest he up and work for somebody else?

And who else would pay him that kind of dough?

All I know is, I have a friend who visits a food hub once a month. Each time she visits, she is able to load up a single bag, for which she pays nothing. Some months, she’ll haul in several Marie Callender’s frozen dinner entrees. Other months, she’ll have a couple of boxes of granola bars among her swag.

She does this because she has to.

My friend is hardworking. The outfit that employs her would suffer if she left. She has certain talents that are unique.

Yet she doesn’t make $50k in two whole years.

Maybe I just don’t get this whole economics business.


Dave Hoekstra of the Sun-Times points out that the guy who brought Paul Bunyan to Cicero, Illinois, has died.

Hamlet Arthur Stephens ran a hot dog joint called — what else? — Paul Bunyon’s [sic] on Ogden Avenue, once designated US Rte. 66, for many years. He got hold of a nearly-20-feet-tall fiberglass statue of of the legendary woodsman in the early ’60s and had an even more outsized hot dog built to be cradled in the big lug’s arms.

I used to pass the statue regularly back in the mid-’70s when I had a girlfriend whose family lived in nearby Berwyn. It always bugged me that Bunyon was misspelled, but now I learn that Hamlet purposely replaced that A with an O so he wouldn’t be sued for copyright infringement.

And the funny thing is, the towering man — yep, even taller than Bloomington’s own Tall Steve — wasn’t meant to be Paul Bunyan in the first place. He was one of dozens of similar such statues created for gas stations and car repair shops. The story I always heard was that Cicero’s big guy originally had a muffler in his mitts.

Anyway, I was saddened when I learned that the hot dog gargantuan was taken down nearly ten years ago, back when I still lived in Chi. Paul Bunyon’s had closed and had been replaced by a Mexican restaurant.

Coincidentally, a scant two weeks ago the local newspaper for tiny Atlanta, Illinois, ran a piece about area volunteers cleaning up that town’s biggest “man.” Yep, it was the same statue that for some 40 years had beckoned hungry drivers to pull off Ogden Avenue and stop in for a wienie or two.

BTW: here’s the makeup of the traditional Chicago hot dog:

  • Boiled Vienna or David Berg tubesteak
  • Steamed Mary Ann brand poppyseed bun
  • Yellow mustard
  • Chopped onions
  • Tomato
  • Relish (the weirdly neon green kind)
  • Hot peppers (optional)
  • Dill pickle wedge (optional)
  • Celery salt (optional)
  • French fries placed alongside the dog and the whole package wrapped tightly in paper

Putting ketchup on a dog in Chicago has always been considered tantamount to perversion. Here’s a confession: I always took my dog with nothing but mustard and ketchup. A guy told me once that I clearly wasn’t a real Chicagoan when he heard me order my frank thusly.

Perhaps that’s why I left the city.

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