Category Archives: Forbes Magazine

Your Daily Hot Air

You Say You Want A…

Okay, if you want to overthrow…, um, what- or whomever, I’m with you. Count me in for the revolution as long as certain global archcriminals get scalped.

Case in point: Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia. I wish I had his address. I’d throw eggs at his front window, at the very least.

From arabianbusiness.com

Evil Prince

The Prince has sued Forbes Magazine in a British court for libel. The editors of that biweekly paean to wealth and two of its reporters, according to the Prince’s filing, wronged him when they stated that his net worth is $20 billion, rather than the more accurate (or so he claims) $29 billion. The bastards!

Honestly, what can you expect from a guy whose bazillions are laundered through a corporate entity known as Kingdom Holding Company? Really? Kingdom? He owns a hefty chunk of the right-wing media colossus News Corp. as well as slices of Apple and Citigroup. As the (alleged) 26th richest human on Earth, he’s not just part of the 1 percent, he’s of the .000000004 percent. Four freaking millionths of one goddamn percent!

Revolution, my friends, now.

Brilliant

This just hit me.

I want to sell T-shirts, buttons, and bumper stickers with this motto on it. Maybe even have it inscribed on my head stone. It is the single truest, most direct, punchiest thing any of us can ever say.

Here it is:

Bumper Sticker

This’ll Make Me Bazillions!

Of course, you can have your choice of jerk photos. Ayn Rand. Chris Brown. Lloyd Blankfein. Kim Kardashian. Anyone in power at Monsanto. You get the idea.

Simple. Straightforward. Don’t be a jerk.

Tarnished Genius

I’m no big fan of Bobby Kennedy. He and his bros had their political careers bought and paid for by Big Daddy Joe, whose fondest dream was to become the Boss of America through them. The Kennedy boys were entitlement personified. They treated women like dirt. They were so sexually acquisitive that they verged on being predators. They were in thrall to mobsters and wannabes. They were liberal when liberalism could get them votes, then they turned around and were conservative for the same reason.

But they were smart. And they did care about blacks and the poor. So I won’t throw the babies out with the bathwater.

After the whacking of JFK (by L.H. Oswald, alone, natch — I’m no conspiracy theorist), Bobby essentially had a nervous breakdown. He came out on the other side a different man. A better man, I might add. A man who had the courage to speak to what could have been an angry, potentially violent crowd one night here in Indiana.

Indy Star Photo

Bobby Kennedy Breaks The News

It was April 4, 1968. RFK was flying into Indy for a quick campaign stop. As the plane was about to touch down, the captain informed Kennedy and his staff that Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated. Bobby’s handlers told him it would be suicide for a white man to tell a crowd of black people that one of their leaders, one of their heroes, had been killed. Let’s not land, they begged him. Let’s go somewhere safe.

And Bobby said no. The plane landed and he gave this speech on the tarmac, completely extemporaneous and without notes, one of the finest in the history of this very, very imperfect nation:

Ladies and gentlemen.

I’m only going to talk to you for just a minute or so this evening, because I have some, some very sad news for all of you. Could you lower those signs, please? I have some very sad news for all of you, and, I think, sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world; and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.

Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause for the effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it’s perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black — considering the evidence, evidently, is that there were white people who were responsible — you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.

We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization — black people amongst blacks and white people amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand, and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion, and love.

For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust, of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.

But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to get beyond, or go beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poem, my favorite poet was Aeschylus. And he once wrote:

Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget

falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair,

against our will,

comes wisdom

through the awful grace of god.

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

So I ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King — yeah, it’s true — but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love, a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke.

We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We’ve had difficult times in the past, and we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; it is not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.

And let’s dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.

Thank you very much.

Kennedy died of a gunshot wound to the head 45 years ago Thursday.

Revolution

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Touch a scientist and you touch a child.” — Ray Bradbury

SAINT RONALD SPENT LIKE A DRUNKEN SAILOR

I love bits of info like this. Deep thinkers like Ted Nugent, Rush Limbaugh, and John Boehner all would have us believe Barack Obama’s the most profligate president when it comes to spending our hard-earned tax dollars.

Hah!

It really was He Who Has Been Assumed Into Heaven. And our “socialist” Commander in Chief? He’s been the tightest with a buck over the last five decades.

Lest you suspect this is misinformation from the Kremlin’s Commissar of Propaganda, it’s actually from that bastion of capitalism, Forbes Magazine (h/t to Giancarlo Nardini of Club Lago in Chicago).

Hehehe.

Of course, these are mere facts. Facts, as we know, are meaningless to the electorate of this holy land.

NAILS, 90

A contingent of Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls is gliding down to Bedford this AM to pay respects to Nails Parton.

“Nails” Parton

Early roller derby tough gal Esther Eileen Parton, nee Nail (she incorporated her maiden name into her rink moniker), died Tuesday. She pitched the elbows up and down the eastern seaboard in the late ’30s and early 40s, back when women’s roller derby resembled more a marathon race than a series of short-burst, two-minute jams.

She became the BHRGs’ elder stateswomen superfan when this town’s girl gang was just getting started. For home bouts, the Rollergirls set Nails up with her own special easy chair behind suicide seating.

Bloomington’s skaters have sent a special flower arrangement for the funeral. It’s heavy on BHRG colors, and the vase has been implanted in a vintage roller skate. BTW: Nails  and her fellow derby-ists wore wooden-wheel skates.

Delicate Flowers

Speaking of wheels, dig those gams on Eileen. I bet that dame could move.

BOOM-SHOCKALOCKA

Old Sol blew off a monster flare Thursday. Goddard Space Weather Lab geeks predict the gargantuan tongue of energy will hit the Earth today at 5:14pm, our time.

Burn, Baby, Burn

If we’re awfully lucky and the skies clear, we may be able to see an aurora display late tonight and early tomorrow morning, thanks to the flare.

Astro-nuts say the flare — AKA, a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) — erupted from a sunspot that directly faced the Earth at blast time, meaning our rock will get the full dose of solar wind, magnetic field, and an extreme ultraviolet radiation pulse when the plume hits.

(You can find a video of the CME in a separate post below this one.)

Solar flare events can interfere with our planet’s electrical grid, GPS signals, and high-frequency radio communication. This CME isn’t expected to do appreciable damage.

BTW: Don’t pay any attention to New Agers and woo-woo enthusiasts who might claim the event will affect anything other than the electromagnetic spectrum here. But you’re too smart for that anyway, aren’t you?

SUNSHINE SUPERMAN

By Donovan. It charted in late 1966 and early 1967. This vid features the album version of the song, complete with guitar solo.

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Showers Plaza, City HallFarmers Market; 8am-1pm

Hoosier National ForestArcheological Dig open house, see excavated farmsteads of the German Ridge community; noon-4pm

Stable Studios, Spencer — Bluegrass festival 2012: The Travelin’ McCoury’s, The White Lightning Boys, Rumpke Mountain Boys, Flatland Harmony Experiment, New Old Cavalry, the Stuttering Ducks, The Seratones; 1pm-midnight

The Rumpke Mountain Boys

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterBloomington Storytelling Project, “The Shocks & Surprises,” true stories; 7pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — David Dwyer; 7-9pm — DW Brykalski; 9:30-11:30pm

◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”; 7pm

Boxcar BooksMysterious Rabbit Puppet Army production of “Donny Quixote!”; 7pm

The Mysterious Rabbit Puppet Army

Brown County Playhouse, Nashville — Musical, “Footloose”; 7:30pm

◗ IU Wells-Metz TheatreMusical, “You Can’t Take It With You”; 7:30pm

Cafe DjangoJared Hall Trio; 8pm

Buskirk-Chumley TheaterFilm premier, “Found”; 8pm

◗ IU Woodburn HallRyder Film Series, “Elles”; 8pm

Mike’s Music & Dance Barn, Nashville — Mike Robertson & Smooth Country; 8pm

◗ IU Memorial UnionUB Films: “The Breakfast Club”; 8pm

The Player’s PubBelow Zero Blues Band; 8pm

The Comedy AtticChelsea Peretti; 8 & 10:30pm

◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series, “Gerhard Richter Painting”; 8:30pm

Max’s PlaceMerrie Sloan & Friends; 9pm

The BluebirdPam Thrash Retro; 9pm

The BishopSoul in the Hole: Soul/Funk dance party; 10pm

Ongoing:

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • John D. Shearer, “I’m Too Young For This  @#!%”; through July 30th
  • Claire Swallow, ‘Memoir”; through July 28th
  • Dale Gardner, “Time Machine”; through July 28th
  • Sarah Wain, “That Takes the Cake”; through July 28th
  • Jessica Lucas & Alex Straiker, “Life Under the Lens — The Art of Microscopy”; through July 28th

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • Qiao Xiaoguang, “Urban Landscape: A Selection of Papercuts” ; through August 12th
  • “A Tribute to William Zimmerman,” wildlife artist; through September 9th
  • Willi Baumeister, “Baumeister in Print”; through September 9th
  • Annibale and Agostino Carracci, “The Bolognese School”; through September 16th
  • “Contemporary Explorations: Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists”; through October 14th
  • David Hockney, “New Acquisitions”; through October 21st
  • Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Paragons of Filial Piety”; through fall semester 2012
  • Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan, “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers”; through December 31st
  • “French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century”; through December 31st

◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits:

  • Kinsey Institute Juried Art Show; through July 21st
  • Bloomington Photography Club Annual Exhibition; July 27th through August 3rd

◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery“Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st

◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st

◗ IU Mathers Museum of World Cultures — Closed for semester break

Monroe County History Center Exhibits:

  • “What Is Your Quilting Story?”; through July 31st
  • Photo exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” — Malcolm X

THE ANNUAL ELECTRON PENCIL PENNILESS LIST

What a coincidence!

Only two days after Forbes Magazine released its yearly list of the world’s billionaires, we at The Electron Pencil proudly present our inaugural annual roster of broke Americans.

Forbes Got Nuthin’ On Us

(We are working with our crack legal team to determine if we have a case against Forbes. It is our assertion that Forbes intentionally scheduled its release to upstage our eagerly awaited list of the Penniless. Stayed tuned for more developments.)

Several of the Forbes select few have expressed displeasure at having information about their personal finances splashed all over magazines, newspapers, radio, and TV. Our lucky few are circumspect as well. In fact, each of them has pleaded with us not to reveal their identities or net worth.

Forbes Porn

But we are nothing if not tireless, intrepid journalists. Our commitment to unearth the truth no matter the consequences must trump their desire for privacy. As a compromise, we will not use the full names of our honorees.

Now then, here is The Annual Electron Pencil Penniless List:

  • Ronald H.: A talented jazz saxophonist, Mr. H. recently moved out of his cozy pied-à-terre on the west side of Bloomington. He is now “traveling.” In other words, he is homeless. Mr. H. was ousted from his position as Vice President of Facilities Maintenance for a local elementary school last spring. He was a casualty of school budget cuts. He carries the entirety of his possessions in his backpack which has a missing zipper. Sharp-eyed passersby can catch glimpses of Mr. H.’s holdings when his backpack flap flips open. He is considered among the most open and transparent of our 2012 honorees.
  • Miranda P.: She and her two children — Zach, 5, and Lily, 3 — also are “traveling.” Mrs. P. is currently in the process of dissolving her partnership with Joshua P., who last December attempted a hostile takeover of her finances. Mr. P. at the time was putting together a straight cash transaction for sub-legal pharmaceuticals. When Mrs. P. rejected his entreaties for her cash, he threatened and eventually carried out a night-time assault upon her face. Mrs. P.’s jaw was wired shut and the discoloration around her eyes lasted well into the new year. Middle Way House now serves as temporary headquarters for Mrs. P.’s break-away firm.
  • Jeremy M.: Mr. M.’s home was ranked number one in Car and Driver’s 1992 Best Selling Cars list. His curbfront domicile is known popularly among neighbors as as “that damned red Taurus.” He inherited it from his grandfather who passed away in 2006 while Mr. P. was finishing up his master’s degree in fine arts. Mr. P. is looking to diversify by applying for work at Rally’s Hamburgers, Kroger on 2nd Street, and the Subway at Walnut and 6th streets. Some observers say Mr. P.’s total wealth has been adversely affected by his ill-advised leveraging of student loans to acquire his degree. Mr. P. has responded that his degree has been valued in certain quarters at $1.7 million over his lifetime, as opposed to his total debt load of $53,000. Mr. P. was recently seen purchasing a rare pair of red Chuck Taylors at the Salvation Army Thrift Store on North Rogers Street.
  • Kevin W.: A pioneer in the field of bipolar disorder patientry, Mr. W. visits the four corners of Bloomington on his daily perambulations. He is known far and wide as an often accessible member of the local penniless community. He has made enemies, though, during the days before he receives his monthly dosage of lithium. Mr. W. impresses with his ability to identify the day of the week of any random date a questioner might suggest. Some analysts believe this indicates he also possesses a form of Asperger’s Syndrome which would help solidify his inclusion in future Penniless lists.
  • Jana C.: A long-time leader in the local physical pleasure industry, Ms. C. recently became affiliated with Narcotics Anonymous and has indicated she may be looking to move on to other fields. Her ambitions may be tempered by the pressing needs of members of the housing, utilities, and grocery industries for immediate remuneration for services and goods. When her liquidity sank to an all-time low in February, Ms. C. confided to close friends that she may never be entirely free to leave the sex industry.

We salute our Penniless achievers.

TIME IS NOT MONEY

Speaking of the penniless, our go-to researcher R.E. Paris points out that Lester Chambers of the 1960’s power soul group, the Chambers Brothers, has fallen on the hardest of times.

Chambers posted an Occupy Wall Street-type letter on You Tube describing his unfortunate state this week. The post went viral.

Chambers says the recording contract he and his band mates signed in the mid-60’s screwed him out of royalties. He writes, “Only 1% of artists can sue. I am the 99%.”

The Electron Pencil ran a video of the Chambers Brothers’ hit, “Time Has Come Today,” earlier this year.

POT IS MONEY

So, the spectacularly crazed Pat Robertson has come out in favor of the legalization of marijuana.

Wild, huh?

Maybe no so wild when you think about it. Perhaps the human race’s pipeline to the creator of the universe has concluded that too many of his hard-pressed contributors are turning to pot harvesting for him to continue being a prohibitionist.

Pat Knows: You Can’t Contribute If You’re In The Joint

Frankly, this development bums me out, man. I’ve been for the legalization of pot for decades. Sadly, now that Pat Robertson is as well, I’ll have to change my position.

Damn.

Come to think of it, doesn’t he look sorta high in the photo on the link?

CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF SARAH

Roger Ebert digs the new HBO movie about Sarah Palin. Actually, “Game Change” is supposed to be about the failed 2008 run of John McCain for president but, honestly, McCain wasn’t the story at all.

I’m tempted to watch the movie but the casting of Julianne Moore as the winking dolt is problematic for me: I like Moore and I’d hate to have her associated with the New White Oprah from now on.

No, Julianne, No!

Too bad the producers couldn’t get Palin to play herself. Ebert describes her as “the greatest actress in American political history.”

ASK THE ANGELS

Patti Smith, babies.

Across the country, through the fields,

You know I see it written ‘cross the sky.

People rising from the highway

And war, war is the battle cry

And it’s wild, wild, wild, wild.

The Pencil Today:

TODAY’S QUOTE

“We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” — Louis Brandeis

PENCILLISTAS!

Leave it to that hard working public servant Susan Sandberg to perform, well…, yet another public service. The At-large Bloomington City Council member has coined the term pencillistas for the growing number of slavish daily readers of this column.

Power To The Pencil!

For all you right wing spies and moles who are monitoring these precincts for the inevitable terrorist atrocities that liberalism engenders, we’re gonna save you some time and shoe-leather. Here is a laundry list of our recent activities:

  • We’re drawing up a list of all people who earn more than $500 a week so we can disembowel them when we take over
  • We’re stuffing envelopes full of nuclear secrets and addressing them to the various mullahs of Iran
  • We’re creating a database of kindly old grandmas and grandpas so we can drag them all before our health care death panels
  • We’re establishing a dating registry for all innocent, caucasian, blonde, female high school seniors to connect with black men serving hard time in selected Midwest state prisons
  • We’re working on drafting legislation that would require each woman in the state to undergo at least two abortions by the age of 21
  • We’re lobbying for changing our national anthem from “The Star-Spangled Banner” to “L’Internationale
  • And, finally, we’re extremely busy exchanging recipes for scrumptious oatmeal cookies, you know, the ones that aren’t all mushy like store-bought cookies, but sort of crisp and crunchy?

So, if you want to be a Pencillista, sharpen your knives, bone up on your gas centrifuge knowledge, and bring out your best recipe. Welcome one and all!

PIMP MY RIDE OR TWEET MY MIND

Our latest Pencil Poll asked “If you were forced to choose, would you give up your car or your connectivity?”

Our results as of 9:00 this morning indicate the car is still king in these Great United States, Inc.

True Love

Fully 46.15 percent of Americans (based on our findings) would give up their connectivity while 30.77 percent would give up their car. Fewer than eight percent of respondents say they have no car and no respondents say they have no connectivity.

(Our crack team of IT experts cautions that many respondents who lack internet connectivity may have mailed in their votes. We’ll have further results next Monday.)

Finally, 15.38 percent say they have no hope.

Happy Friday!

WHO NEEDS BRAINS?

Now that Indiana statehouse Republicans have squashed those pesky labor unions, they’ve turned their beady, bloodshot eyes toward the even more dire threat of intelligence.

The Indiana Senate Education Committee overwhelmingly approved sending a bill to the full Senate that would allow the teaching of “creation science” in our public schools.

Stop Pulling Out Your Hair — The Indiana Legislature’s Got Your Back

In other education news, Munster high school junior Brittni Pinkston won the regional science fair competition with her project “Angels in Mom’s Attic.” And Gosport eighth-grader Zach St. Peter’s song, “Science: What Is It Good For?” was awarded the Governor’s Medal for Obedient Creativity.

Keep up the great work kids! And remember, a mind is a terrible thing to have.

YOU TWO STOP FIGHTING OR I’M TELLING!

So, the candidates hoping to challenge President Obama in November got together again to tell the world how horrifying things in this holy land would be if certain GOP-ers won the nomination.

And you should have heard them talk about each other.

Moon Newt and Rich Mitt engaged in yet another episode of their pissing contest last night in Jacksonville, Florida. Their bitchiness annoyed Rick Santorum.

Newt: “Am Not.” Mitt: “Are Too.”

The Closet Candidate stomped his foot and demanded that his playmates get along. Or else, I suppose, he’d tell Mom.

In the midst of all the sniping and the holdings-of breath, two or three actual issues were raised: space exploration, for one; and immigration, for another. Perhaps it was the introduction of actual topics that set Santorum off.

I’m Not Fighting.”

Anyway, here’s what he said, after being asked about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and telling the questioner and Florida Republican voters what a stand-up guy he is.

“The bigger issue here is, these two gentlemen, who are out distracting from the most important issues we have, have been playing petty, personal politics. Can we set aside that Newt was a member of Congress and used the skills that he developed as a member of Congress to go out and advise companies? And that’s not the worst thing in the world? And that Mitt Romney is a wealthy guy because he worked hard and he’s going out and working hard? And you guys should leave that alone and focus on the issues.”

Oh, how the crowd cheered our little Pennsylvania queen of the May.

Problem is, those are precisely the most important issues we face in this holy land.

Elected representatives who take their hefty Congressional pensions and then go out and shill and pimp for corporations that have no more concern for you and me than if we were ants on the sidewalk — that’s pressing!

And guys who make millions by turning over companies — and employees and towns and industries be damned? Yeah. Why do you think thousands of people started occupied financial centers and public spaces in October?

Both charges are at the core of our nation’s rot. The continued ability of a precious few to make scads of dough trumps all human concerns. The spending of millions — and even billions — to sway our elected representatives has turned Congress into a cheap dime store.

Those are the issues, Ricky.

SOME SOCIALISTS ARE JUST BETTER CAPITALISTS

Here’s a tale of two Chicagoans. They bookended the 20th Century. In a lot of ways, they defined it.

Each depended on public and private support for their ambitious plans.

First, Jane Addams.

As a young woman, she traveled to Great Britain and saw the Toynbee Hall settlement house. It inspired to her to return to Chicago and start a similar establishment there. She and Ellen Starr leased Charles Hull’s house just north of the famed Maxwell Street area where many immigrant Italians and Jews made their first homes in America.

Hull House Kids

Those immigrants needed help. They were poor, largely uneducated, and many could hardly speak English, if at all.

Addams and Starr opened up what would become known as Hull House. They raised money, made speeches, called for volunteers, and proceeded to provide human services to the community.

They set up a kindergarten, provided medical service, established a night adult education program, staffed an employment bureau, fed the hungry, encouraged kids and adults to create art, set up a circulating library, and started a day care center.

Addams then branched out into consumer affairs and health and food safety. She agitated for women’s suffrage. She also spoke long and loud against militarism.

Eventually, Jane Addams’ Hull House organizations expanded to branches all over the city. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.

That all took place in the early part of the past century.

In the latter part of the century, a fellow named Jerry Reinsdorf made himself a few hundred million dollars creating real estate tax shelters.

There is no record of him starting kindergartens, circulating libraries, soup kitchens, or night adult education programs. His passions, apparently, were limited to accumulating more cash than any human could possibly spend in a lifetime. Maybe two. Or even a hundred.

In 1981, he and his limited partnership purchased the Chicago White Sox for $19 million (using borrowed money, natch). Less than a decade later, Reinsdorf and his fellow mobsters stuck a gun in the ribs of Illinois Governor Jim Thompson and demanded a new stadium.

If Thompson refused, Reinsdorf et al warned, they’d take their White Sox and move to Florida.

So Jim Thompson twisted arms in the Illinois state legislature until that august body approved funding for a $167 million playground. The eventual debt service on the new ballpark reputedly brought the final total bill to somewhere in the vicinity of a half a billion dollars. And, despite the fact that taxpayers were footing the bill for his baseball palace, Reinsdorf and his co-conspirators gained control over the sports authority set up to administer the payout.

It was the sweetest deal of Jerry Reinsdorf’s life.

Suite Luxury At US Cellular Field

In 2003, in exchange for $68 million, Reinsdorf allowed the US Cellular outfit to slap its name all over the park.

In the coming 2012 baseball season, Reinsdorf’s White Sox will draw close to three million fans. Full season ticket plans can cost up to $3439 per seat. If you’d like to park your car in the ballpark’s lot, you’ll have fork over an additional $1568.

And we’re not even talking about skybox deals which can range into the high six figures or even the millions annually.

Here’s another similarity between Jerry Reinsdorf and Jane Addams. Reinsdorf’s White Sox figure to be lousy this year. Addams’ Hull House suffered through such a lousy year in 2011 (as well as 2010 and ’09) that the organization is ceasing operation today at 5:00pm.

By the way, the major reason Hull House had three lousy years in a row? The bursting of the real estate bubble in 2008, leading to near-economic depression and fewer charitable donations. Ironic, huh?

You might wonder if real estate tycoon Jerry Reinsdorf is suffering, too. Nah. He got out of the real estate racket years ago, selling his firm for a hundred million dollars. Oh, and his investment in the White Sox? It’s has grown by 16.5 times since his initial outlay of $19 million 30 years ago. The team is now worth $315 million, according to Forbes magazine.

Jane Addams may have been selfless and smart, but she wasn’t smart enough to parlay real estate tax shelters into a fortune.

War: What Is It Good For?

It ain’t nothin’ but a heartbreaker. Friend only to the undertaker.

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