Category Archives: Golda Meir

Hot Air: Flotsam And Jetsam

This Just In…

Today is World Press Freedom Day, proclaimed in 1993 and celebrated every year on May 3rd by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization).

The news media may indeed exist in a horseshitty state here in this holy land in the year of our lord 2016 — what with Fox News, the dumbing down of the Murrican public, our fascination with ciphers like the Kardashians, and other insults to my intelligence — but, still, if you dig deep enough, you’ll get the info you need to come to rational, reasonable conclusions about the condition of this mad, mad, mad, mad world. You just have to do a little work.

And since I lack the personal resources to visit Homs province in Syria or grill Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on a daily basis, I depend on those imperfect, under-seige news bureaus and reporters from NPR, the New York Times, the BBC, Amy Goodman and Democracy Now!, the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi, Barbara Ehrenreich, the Guardian, ProPublica, PolitiFact, and dozens of others to keep me straight about the psychoses and sociopathic impulses of my fellow species-mates.

We may be blissfully ignorant these days in America, but w/o a free press we’d be awfully dumb.

Eerie Erotica

Yesterday, Lauren, the delightful barista at Hopscotch Coffee (okay, they’re all delightful, but she is in her own inimitable way), wore a dress that reminded me of Morticia’s on “The Addams Family.” So we talked about Morticia and Gomez. I said they were the only couple on TV who acted as though they actually loved each other. Hell, they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. No other TV couple had ever suggested that they had a physical relationship with each other.

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Wedded Bliss

Other than M & G, TV couples until “The Brady Bunch,” which premiered in late September, 1969, all slept in separate single beds. Man, because of that I thought my parents, who shared a bed, were gross. In fact, really early on, I figured they were too cheap to buy two beds.


The Bradys, Though, Didn’t Seem All That Frisky

In any case, Morticia and Gomez obviously had a rollicking, rewarding sex life. The lesson TV conveyed? Only monstrous ghouls would be so overtly sensual.

Update: It occurs to me that Lily and Herman Munster also slept in the same bed! That’s right — both mid–sixties monster sitcoms featured married couples who had normal, natural marital relations.



How in the world did we of a certain age survive our TV upbringing?


I notice that Hillary is three million votes ahead of Bernie when all the primary figures to date are added up.

Yet Bernie’s idolators still cling to the notion that the Clinton campaign is benefitting from some kind of anti-democratic (note: small d), voter-repressing, Nazi, Vlad the Impaler, Tyrannosaurus Rex crushing of the will of the noble citizenry.

Now, I voted for Bernie in the IN primary because I wanted to give my modest imprimatur to his aims and philosophies. I can only hope his goals become part of the Democratic Party’s plank come convention time this summer. But his most ardent followers came thisclose to turning me off to him, what with their obsessive aggrievement, their righteousness, and their pathological demonization of Hillary.

Many so-called progressives are citing and linking to Right Wing websites to spew slanders against Hillary. Suddenly, apparently, lefties are reading The Daily Caller, Breitbart, and Drudge just to get the mud on Hill. I’ve even seen WND attached to some social media smears on the former Sec’y of State. You can’t get more wingnutty than that. Well, maybe if you click on this.

Still, the Bernie-istas are so frothy for their guy that they’ve joined forces with the Dark Side that’s been libeling and smearing the Clintons since the moment the couple came onto the national scene in 1991. And, believe me, the Clintons have never needed anybody’s help in looking slippery.

The Bernie crowd — that is, the hyper-super-ardent wing thereof — reminds me of nothing so much as the Tea Party-ists now. Everybody’s against us, they both claim. We won’t compromise. If you criticize us or our guy you are, de facto, part of the massive, secretive, evil, jack-booted cabal that rules our nation and world.

The two gangs are a tiring lot.

May 3rd Birthdays

James Brown — The Godfather of Soul and The Hardest-Working Man in Show Business.


Frankie Valli — Falsetto-voiced front man for the Four Seasons and himself one of the godfathers of the New Jersey boys sound.


Valli (bottom center)

Niccolo Machiavelli — Author, The Prince.

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Jacob Riis — Photographer and muckraker, he forced Americans to acknowledge the poverty in their midst.

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Golda Meir — Israeli prime minister, 1969-1974. It’s claimed she was moments away from launching her nation’s nuclear weapons against its Arab enemies during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

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Norman Corwin — Radio dramatist of the 1930s and ’40s, he presented social issues to the listening public. He served as the inspiration for the likes of Orson Welles, Rod Serling, and Norman Lear.

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Pete Seeger — Blacklisted during the McCarthy years, he and his group, the Weavers, sang about working people, race, democracy, and repression. He wrote “If I Had a Hammer” and “Turn, Turn, Turn!”

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Ron Popiel — “Wait, there’s more!” Sold Chop-O-Matic, Veg-O-Matic, and the Pocket Fisherman nightly on TV. Was fond of declaiming, If you want dine with the classes, you have to sell to the masses.


David Koch — One of two brothers who, because they inherited a billion-dollar empire from their daddy-o, believe they can purchase the US Congress and 50 statehouses.

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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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