Category Archives: Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hot Air: Humanity’s Better Half

Our Leaders’ Junk

So, it is done. Hillary has accepted her party’s nomination for President of the United States of America.

It’s about damned time, too, considering the fact that for the last few years the number of female heads of state on this weird planet has hovered around 20. As far as I can determine, more than 130 females have headed governments in positions ranging from president and prime minister to governor-general. This does not include female monarchs, which I never count anyway.

Today’s female leaders include:

  • Angela Merkel of Germany
  • Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia



  • Sheikh Hasina Wajed of Bangladesh
  • Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania
  • Dilma Rouseff of Brazil
  • Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea (South Korea)
  • Erna Solberg of Norway
  • Michelle Bachelet of Chile
  • Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca of Malta
  • Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic of Croatia

There are more but if you expect me to research the leaders of all the countries on the Earth, you’d better pay me.

Now, here’s a weirdity: A lot of Trumpistas are pooh-poohing the significance of the Democrats putting Hillary forward as their standard-bearer. I heard one guy complain that the Dems are way too concerned with “anatomy.”

Well, consider me an political anatomist. Human beings born with vaginas have been relegated to an inferior status since our earliest ancestors put down their flint tools and decided to start governing themselves. Only in the 20th Century did Homo Sapiens sapiens begin to allow women to be their bosses in any appreciable numbers.

And it’s taken this “beacon of hope” nation 240 years to even allow a woman a shot at the presidency. I get the feeling that people being overly concerned with anatomy is nothing at all new.


Naturally, when any group finally throws off the chains of repression, the gang that had kept them in the iron bracelets has apoplexy. It’s no different now that Hillary is knocking at the door of the White House.

Some of Hillary’s greatest detractors have conjured some decidedly non-affectionate nicknames for her of late, including “Shillery,” “Killery,” and, one I just learned last night, “Hitlery.”


Personal to all those moniker-bestowers: The woman’s name is Hillary. Got it? Hillary. Not Hillery. It’s an A, not an E.

Of course, few Trump followers can accurately portray themselves as experts in spelling or any of the other complicated and challenging sciences.

Hit Man

The New York Daily News reports that D. Trump has said this about some of his detractors who spoke at the Dem Convention this week:

I wanted to hit a couple of those speakers so hard. I would have hit them. I was going to hit them so hard, I was all set, and then I got a call from a highly respected governor:

“How’s it going, Donald?”

I said, “Oh, it’s going good but they’re really saying bad things about me. I’m going to hit them so hard!”

I was going to hit this one guy in particular, a very little guy. I was going to hit this guy so hard his head would spin. He wouldn’t know what the hell happened.”

His audience for these remarks was a bunch of Trumpistas in Davenport, Iowa. They interrupted his rant several times with cheering.

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Trump Mugging In Davenport

Saner folk are tut-tutting this latest Trumpian outburst of pre-adolescent gibberish. Some are saying, Hey, let’s make sure everybody who digs Trump hears about this! It’ll surely change their minds about him.

Me? I say let’s keep this under out hats. See, Trumpistas are gaga for this kind of verbal spewing. This tough guy talk makes them worship him even more.

If you think the emergence of Trump as a leader is the worst thing ever to happen in this holy land, you are wrong. It’s the existence since our inception of the type of people who swoon over his ignorant, petty, hateful, violent bullshit.

(BTW: How much do you want to bet the “highly respected governor” he refers to is either his organ grinder’s monkey, Chris Christie, or his house whitey, Mike Pence. Either way, “highly respected” might be the most outlandish verbiage he employed in a superlatively outlandish speech.)

When The Mustache Fits

It occurs to me that our promiscuous use of Hitler’s name to denigrate leaders we disagree with has made it nearly impossible for anyone to do so and be taken seriously when such a comparison is actually called for. Like, y’know, now.

Great Names; Big Show

I was exchanging pleasantries with the lovely and talented Constance Furey — isn’t that a great name? — Religious Studies prof at Indiana University and the wife of guitarist extraordinaire Jason Fickel — another great name; how fortuitous the two got together! — yesterday afternoon at this communications colossus’s back office, Hopscotch Coffee. Furey pressed a palm card into my hand as she bade me goodbye. I figured, this being election season, it was of a political nature but no.

It was a postcard flogging Jason and Ginger Curry‘s big CD release show at the Waldron Arts Center, Saturday, August 6, at 8pm. (And what about her name? Two indispensable spices in many of the world’s cuisines.)

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Ginger And Jason

Anyway, get yourself over to the Waldron for their celebration. Their special guest will be our town’s own singer/storyteller Tom Roznowski so the $5 ducat price will be a steal.

More Name-Gaming

Since meeting Furey several years ago at the Book Corner, the roster of women I’ve met whose names are based on higher human characteristics now includes:

  • Constance Furey
  • Temperance (Tempi) Touhy
  • Providence (Penny) Farella
  • Honor Finnegan

In addition, I know:

  • Zaineb (Arabic for “the lord has remembered”) Istrabadi
  • Chase (a Chicago side street and my niece) Finkelstein
  • Atefeh (Arabic for “affection” or “emotion”) Rahimpour, known by her friends as Ati.

Kiddies, y’gotta grab for your fun anywhere you can.

July 29th Birthdays

Alexis de Tocqueville — Author of the definitive two-volume observation of culture in the newly-formed United States entitled Democracy in America, he was a French-born political scientist and diplomat. The American ideal of equality (albeit for white men) would lead to a mediocrity wherein citizens would reject any intellectual “elite.” Americans’ refusal to accept those whose intellects were superior must stifle independent, rational thought, he wrote. Apparently, he also was a great seer into the future.


Max Nordau — Born Simcha Südfeld in what is now known as Budapest, Hungary, he was an extreme moralist, physician, and co-founder with Theodor Herzl of the World Zionist Organization. An orthodox Jew, he forcefully decried the modern world of the end of the 19th Century, aiming barbs famously at the homosexual Oscar Wilde of whom he wrote, “Wilde loves immorality, sin, and crime.” The Dreyfus Affair convinced Nordau that Europe’s anti-semitism was a growing danger — he had personally witnessed crowds outside the École Militaire shouting “Death to the Jews.”

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Booth Tarkington — The Indianapolis-born author of The Magnificent Ambersons and Alice Adams, for which he won two Pulitzer Prizes. He was a proud Midwesterner whose novels were set in Indiana. He also served a term in the Indiana House of Representatives.


Maria Ouspenskaya — Russian-born actor and acting teacher, she came to the United States at the age of 48 when the Moscow Art Theater travelled to New York City, where she elected to live. She gained fame in American movies playing an aging and then elderly woman and was referred to by Holly Golightly in Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s: “Not that I give a hoot about jewelry. Diamonds, yes. But it’s tacky to wear diamonds before you’re forty; and even that’s risky. They only look right on the really old girls. Maria Ouspenskaya. Wrinkles and bones, white hair and diamonds.”

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Benito Mussolini — Role model for D. Trump.

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I.I. Rabi — Born Israel Isaac Rabi (he later changed his name to Isador) in the Galacia territory of Austria-Hungary. A Nobel Prize-winning physicist, he served as a consultant to the Manhattan Project. He was present at the Trinity test. The physicists there had a betting pool to determine how big the world’s first nuclear explosion would be. Rabi was the last to enter the pool, selecting the only remaining box — 18 kilotons. The Trinity test resulted in an explosion of 22k magnitude; Rabi’s box was the closest to that figure.


Dag Hammarskjöld — The Second secretary-general of the United Nations, Hammarskjöld was born in Jönköping, Sweden, and had served as a key implementer of the Marshall Plan, revitalization Europe after World War II, before his election to the UN top post. It’s claimed by the LGBTQ community that he was gay, although no definitive proof exists. In 1961, Hammarskjöld was flying aboard a DC-6 airliner that crashed in what is now Zambia in a peace-keeping mission. He and 15 others died in the crash. Many observers believe the plane had been shot down by unspecified combatants in the Katanga secession battle against the republic of Congo-Leopoldville. Others suggest the plane was bombed in an assassination attempt sanctioned by the CIA, Britain’s M15, and the South African intelligence service at the behest of Union Minière and other mining corporations that had vested interests in the Katanga secession.


Elizabeth Short — Known as “The Black Dahlia,” the discovery of her surgically mutilated corpse in a vacant lot in Los Angeles in 1947, inspired numerous novels, short stories, and films noir.

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Ken Burns — Historical documentarian whose works as a director include The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, Prohibition, The Central Park Five, and The Roosevelts. He produced the documentary Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies. He has recently spoken out forcefully against the election of Donald Trump as president.


On this date in 1897, Vincent Van Gogh died. The 2100 or so works of art he produced in his lifetime were largely ignored until after his death. Van Gogh suffered from mental illnesses including severe depression, delusions, and hallucinations. After one particular stretch of psychosis, he shot himself in the chest with a pistol in a wheat field he’d recently painted. The bullet had been deflected by a rib and caused no appreciable damage to his vital organs. He walked back home and seemed to have survived the injury in surprisingly good health. The wound became infected, though, and he died 29 hours after shooting himself. His last words, acc’d’g to his brother Theo, were, “The sadness will last forever.”

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Oh great, now I have an excuse to post a vid of one of the prettiest songs I can think of:

Hot Air

Black Bogeymen

No more bullshit about how the most extreme critics of B. Obama aren’t, at heart, racists.

Yes, yes, yes, you can criticize the Prez all you want because that is our nation’s pastime no matter who occupies the Oval Office, be he a dope who lied to get us into a war or a Nazi/commie who just happens to have dark skin.

But criticizing the president does not mean the Congress must obstruct every single thing he wants done. To wit: Wednesday’s Senate rejection of Obama’s nominee to head the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. See, Debo Adegbile, in his former position as counsel for the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund, once wrote a couple of amicus briefs on behalf of convicted Philadelphia cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.



Mumia has been a cause-célèbre since his conviction in 1982. He pretty much was railroaded through the PA state courts, although, I must admit, a careful reading of the evidence against him reveals that, sure, he killed that cop. Nevertheless, Pennsylvania prosecutors had such a tumescence to fry him that they neglected a few of the fair trial niceties the US Constitution calls for. Thus, civil liberty advocates cried whoa and called for a new trial. Thusly, Adegbile got involved.



Now, ergo, acc’d’g to the conservative loon-ocracy, Adegbile is four-square in favor of every black man killing a cop just for the hell of it. And remember, he’s black, with a really scary black name, so it has to be true.

Indiana’s very own Senator Joe Donnelly, nominally a Democrat, joined the disloyal opposition in quashing Adegbile’s nomination.

So Adegbile has been denied a Justice Dept. post because he did what lawyers are supposed to do: That is, defend people. Apparently, though, defending a scary black man disqualified him.

Post-racial America my foot.

Soul Man

Speaking of hard-core conservatives in this holy land, I’m getting the feeling a lot of them secretly dig Vlad Putin, aren’t you?



He’s macho. He’s full of strutting braggadocio. He hunts. He hates gays. He’s tough. George W. Bush gazed into his eyes and concluded they were kindred souls. And he does whatever the fk he wants with a gun in his hand (and, by extension, so does his Russian military).

Kiddies, the truth is Putin would be a perfecto Tea Party choice for Prez of these U. States.

Leaders Of The Pack

Speaking of potential presidential candidates, isn’t NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand looking more and more viable by the day?

And wouldn’t the Dems take a needed first step in repositioning themselves if they selected as a 2016 ticket Hillary Clinton and KG? You might say it’d be suicide to put two women on the same ticket but wags said something similar when Bill Clinton tabbed Al Gore to be his running mate in 1992. No way, they said, can you have two southern boys from smallish states running together. But they won.


That’s The Ticket

I wonder if the Clinton/Gillibrand pair would win. It’d sure be fun to find out.

[BTW: Google’s Related Searches feature that pops up when one types in the NY Sen.’s name has “Kirsten Gillibrand weight loss” as its number one category. The number two most popular KG search is “Kirsten Gillibrand Vogue.” Apparently, she was profiled in that mag in 2010. “Kirsten Gillibrand on the issues” does not show up until number five. Sigh.]

Hot Air


Okay, why are we being inundated on the interwebs with stupid Sarah Palin quotes again?

Why, why, why, why?

It’s not as though we don’t already know that the con artist, almost-beauty queen, shirker of duty is as batty as a cave in Southern Indiana, is it?


Palin Porn

Can it be that my lib brethren and sisteren are quivering under the covers with petrification that Palin is somehow going to rise Phoenix-like over the American political scene again? Ask me, that’s got about as much chance of happening as my beloved Chicago Cubs winning the 2014 World Series.

And if Palin does somehow become a political figure with whom to reckon once again, this holy land would be de facto dead in the water anyway, so why worry?

Another Sorry Dem

Hillary Clinton got herself in hot water this week by likening Vlad Putin’s swoop into the Crimea to the actions of a certain Right Wing dictator who wore a funny mustache.

Now, HRC is being forced to backtrack and explain herself because, as we know, the use of Hitler analogies is ever so unfair.

Only it’s those on the Right who are wringing their hands and rolling their eyes over the analogy. An analogy, BTW, that way, way, way too many of them use to describe a certain dark-skinned man who pushes pencils around the Oval Office.

As always, The Pencil is here to clear up any confusions.


Nothing To Apologize For

Barack Obama is not Hitler. Neither are Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or any others who don’t quite believe that Sarah Palin is a thoughtful, serious observer of the world condition.

OTOH, what Putin has done in the Crimea is absolutely, positively, very much like what Hitler did throughout the late 1930s. That is, ID a hot spot where the existing gov’t is about to topple and which contains a significant number of citizens who share said tryrant’s language and ethnicity, go in under the guise of rescuing the poor, downtrodden ethnic group, and then, voila!, take the joint over.

Yeah, that’s Hitler (and Putin) all the way. Stop apologizing Hillary!

Dorm Hijinks

The house organ for the weak-kneed liberal sect of the American body politic, the Huffington Post, ran this headline in its right-hand-column teasers last night:

From Huffington Post

No Link Necessary

And, no, I don’t need to explain what HuffPo‘s tittery euphemism is referring to. I suspect a child of 11 could catch the drift.

My question: Is this a drift anyone with a working cerebrum would want to catch?

Mammal Mobsters

And, finally, scientists are coming to the conclusion that dolphins have homicidal tendencies.

Dolphin Kills Porpoise

Sharks & Jets? No, Dolphin & Porpoise

Those who view the “natural” world as a Bambi cartoon have long asserted that critters don’t kill for fun, only humans do.

Not true. Dolphins time and again have been observed whacking other animals and even members of their own tribe just for the hell of it. And so have chimps.

Funny isn’t it? Perhaps the more intelligence a being has, the more likely it’ll be to bump off another being for sport, pleasure, or just because it’s bored.

The Pencil Today:


“Television is democracy at its ugliest.” — Paddy Chayevsky


How can you not love politics?

“He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama.”

That was Rick Santorum six weeks ago describing Mitt Romney — a man whom he endorsed yesterday.

Best Friends Forever

Now, if you’re a Dem or you loathe the GOP, don’t start getting huffy and righteous and say something foolish like, Oh, those Republicans — they can’t be trusted. They’ll say anything to get elected.

Let’s go back four short years ago. Hillary Clinton spent a lot of time wagging her finger at Barack Obama during the Dem primaries. Some of her supporters threatened to — gulp! — go Republican if Obama won the nomination. That’s how deep the animus had grown between the two camps. Next thing you knew, both sides had come together to defeat the McCain/Palin ticket that, by all accounts, induced no Clintonistas to switch parties.

See, that’s why I could never be a politician. First, I have no interest in having the skeletons in my closet bared. Second, I know that at some point in time, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from blurting out, “Jeez, can you believe how full of shit I am?”

BTW: recognize the headline at the top of this entry? That was Dick Nixon’s Squealer, Ron Ziegler, speaking to reporters on April 17th, 1973. Operative statements, in Ziegler’s bizarre argot, were simply today’s lies; inoperative statements were yesterday’s.

Animal Farm


Let’s stick with a theme here: How can you not love business?

According to the IDS, a few enterprising students tried to sell ducats online for a c-note apiece to the IU Kelley School of Business commencement ceremony Saturday

An IU spokesbeing issued a statement tut-tutting the scalping deal.

Free Market?

Making money in a free market is the aim of getting a degree from the Kelley school — except, apparently, when you’re trying to make money selling tickets to a celebration of spending four years of your life learning how to make money in a free market.


Back to Hillary Clinton. It turns out losing the race for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008 just might have been the best thing ever to happen to her.

You may recall that Hillary was perhaps the most despised human being in this holy land before Barack Obama came along to wrest the title from her.

WWN Wasn’t Half As Hard On Hil As Fox News

Remember when Bill Clinton told voters he and the missus were a “package deal”? That she was going to be, in essence, a co-president? Middle America had apoplexy — Hillary was going destroy this sacred society by upending our traditional view of what a First Lady should be.

She even had to stop using her preferred hyphenated moniker, Hillary Rodham Clinton, because too many voters figured a woman who keeps her maiden name is most likely a Nazi abortionist.

And then she came out with that famous quote about not being interested in sitting at home and baking cookies. Millions of Americans became convinced at that very moment that she was a also lesbian communist.

I never felt particularly warm about Hil. Oh sure, I voted for Bill (and her — I bought into the co-presidency idea) but she always struck me as a privileged white person, no matter how quasi-progressive she claimed her politics to be.

I always suspected she was incapable of dropping a gratuitous F-bomb or wouldn’t know how to drink a shot of tequila.

Park Ridge, Illinois, the Chicago suburb in which Hil was raised, was chock full of prim, holier-than-thou folks — even those, like HRC, who entertained near-liberal ideas.

Still, I’ve always had great respect for her. She’s tough enough in her own way to scare the bejesus out of her serial-philandering husband. Plus, she’s smart as a whip and ambitious to boot.

Barack Obama saw these same qualities and selected her as his Secretary of State. Oh sure, he wanted to keep her occupied for four years as well, just in case she wanted to challenge him again in 2012. Still, he recognized her strengths.

Anyway, she’s done a fantastic job as a globe-trotting SoS. She’s juggling a potentially nuclear Iran, an uppity China, a schizo Pakistan, a mobbed-up Russia, a broke European Union, Myanmar, India, the nagging Isreal/Palestine issue, the Arab Spring, and too many other hot spots to mention. Somehow, the world hasn’t blown itself apart just yet.

She may not be tough enough to suck down a ounce of Tarantula Plata without gagging but I doubt there’s a male national leader on this Earth who has the cagliones to cross her.

Why, just yesterday she told the Bangladesh government in no uncertain terms to lay off the Grameen Bank, the innovative microlender founded by Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed Yunus that helps women in south Asia develop small businesses and escape poverty. A while ago, Bangladesh had given the axe to Yunus as boss of the bank. Hil’s now staring that government down, saying don’t mess with Grameen.

Trust me, she’s writing her own entry in American history books.

But had she become president, she would have been savaged for her imagined sins nearly as much as Obama has for his. Who knows what form her “Birther” opposition might have taken. Most likely, there’d have been a constant flow of Hillary’s-gonna-force-our-daughters-into-dykedom “revelations” coming from right wing bloviators and Me Party-ists.

She might have had to spend her precious time denying that she leads a satanic sex cult in the White House basement.

It’s better being Secretary of State.


Finally, speaking of Me Party-ists, their latest darling in Indiana, Richard Mourdock (“End the EPA!”), looks like a lock to unseat long-time US Senator Richard Lugar in the Republican primary today.

Now we’ll see if the state’s Democratic party theory that Mourdock is a preferable foe for their nominee Joe Donnelly in November holds any water.

Donnelly’d better win. Mourdock has been endorsed by none other than Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann.

She’s Back!

I know, I know — you’d finally swept that name clear out of your consciousness and now I remind you that she’s still around. Hey, politics is a rough game.

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

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits, “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”; through July 1st — “Esse Quam Videri (To Be, Rather than To Be Seen): Muslim Self Portraits; through June 17th — “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”; through July 1st

IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibit, “Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze”; through June 29th

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Arts Center Exhibits at various galleries: Angela Hendrix-Petry, Benjamin Pines, Nate Johnson, and Yang Chen; all through May 29th

Trinity Episcopal ChurchArt exhibit, “Creation,” collaborative mosaic tile project; through May 31st

Monroe County Public LibraryArt exhibit, “Muse Whisperings,” water color paintings by residents of Sterling House; through May 31st

Monroe County History CenterPhoto exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

People’s ParkLunch Concert Series, Starkraven; 11:30am

The Venue Fine Arts & GiftsGuitarist Erol Ozserver; 5:30-7:30pm

IU Woodburn Hall, Room 101 — Secular Alliance Movie Night; 6-8pm

Jake’s NightclubKaraoke; 6pm

Deer Park ManorSteppings Stones’ annual volunteer awards & recognition ceremony; 6:30-8pm

Monroe County History CenterCivil War round table, “The Truth about the Confederate Flag”; 7-8pm

The Player’s PubBlue jam, King Bee and the Stingers; 8pm

The BishopEP release party, New terrors with Prayer Breakfast & The New Heaven and the New Earth; 9pm

The BluebirdCoheed and Cambria; 9pm

The Pencil Today:


“I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends — that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.” — Adlai E. Stevenson


Nobody threw a punch yesterday evening at the Bloomington High School South auditorium. Nobody even flung any mud.

The five Democratic candidates for Indiana’s 9th District seat in the US House of Representatives gathered at BHSS for their debate sponsored by the Monroe County Dems.

But, as candidate John Tilford said, it really was no debate at all considering the five agree on pretty much everything.


Which is true. Check the candidates’ websites or follow their pronouncements in the newspapers and you’ll come to the conclusion that each mirrors the others. They’re all center-slightly left Dems, just like the Big Dem in the White House.

The question Democratic voters must ask themselves when they vote in the primary on Tuesday, May 8th, is who can beat Todd Young.


My guess is it’ll be Shelli Yoder, former Miss Indiana and second runner-up in the 1993 Miss America pageant, or Jonathan George, retired US Air Force Brigadier General. The other three fellows in the race, John Griffin Miller, Tilford, and Robert Winningham don’t have a chance.

Yoder and George are the only ones who can sway voters who live outside Bloomington, New Albany, and Jeffersonville. See, they’ve got the liberal vote — sparse as it is; this is Indiana, after all — sewn up. But folks in Bedford and Seymour or who live in the vast rural areas of the District and who may still be in an anti-incumbent, anti-Washington mood just might look kindly upon Yoder or George.

I’ve heard from a number of political insiders who say it’s nearly impossible to get the back country folks in this downstate region to vote for a woman. My guess, though, is they recoil from what they consider “uppity” women, those who wear pantsuits and speak forcefully. Think Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Yoder (left) On The Campaign Trail

Yoder, being a former beauty queen, just might overcome their prejudice. She’s charming and polite. She looks great in a bathing suit (she ranked high in that category in the Miss America contest.) She fits their conception of what an ideal woman should be.

Of course, there’s a lot more to Yoder than her looks and charm, but I’m trying to think like an antediluvian here. And if the Dems are going to unseat Tea Party darling Todd Young, that has to be taken into account.

George As A Young U-2 Pilot

The situation is similar for George. He can’t be dismissed as a socialist, abortionist, homosexual-tolerating liberal. He was, after all, a man who commanded two US Air Force wings, led a B-2 Stealth Bomber squadron, and was in charge of more than 10,000 US soldiers training Afghan security forces.

If the Dems have any hope against Young this November, they’re going to have to imagine what Archie Bunker might think.

What Would Archie Bunker Think?


So, the US Postal Service is going bust.

Or is it?

News reports of late suggest the Postal Service is operating under crushing debt and is on its last legs. The US Senate is pondering whether or not to give the USPS an $11B handout this fall. ABC News says the bailout is aimed at paying off the service’s debt and get it to “become profitable again.”

Conventional wisdom has it that the USPS is a dinosaur that deserves a quick death, what with most communications being done by electronic device these days.

When was the last time you wrote a letter to a friend? I mean actually applying pen to paper, tri-folding sheets neatly, slipping them into an envelope, licking the flap closed, affixing a stamp to it, and walking it down to the mailbox.

For that matter, do you even know where the mailbox is anymore?


Dependable old liberal commentator Jim Hightower has a different take on the state of what we used to call the post office. (h/t to Bill Lichtenberg of Forest Park, Illinois.)

Hightower points out that all the doom and gloom surrounding the USPS is being advanced by pols at the behest of private letter and package services like FedEx. Nothing would make those for-profit businesses happier than for the federal government subsidized service to disappear from the face of the Earth. Hightower says the half a buck you drop on a First Class stamp is a fantastic deal, unlike any deal the private carriers can even approach.

As for the profitability issue, Hightower reminds us the USPS has never been profitable, nor was it intended to be. Neither, he says, have the Pentagon, the FBI, or many other federal services.

Check out Hightower’s piece; it’ll put the USPS in a different light for you.


By the way, linguistic observer Bill Bryson points out the irony that here in the US, we mail a letter which is sent on its way via the Postal Service. In Great Britain, they post a letter using the Royal Mail.

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

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

◗ Bloomington, Citywide — IU’s Arts Week Everywhere 2012; Ongoing, various times

Grunwald (SOFA) GalleryMFA & BFA Thesis 3 exhibitions; through May 5th

IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Black faculty and Staff Recognition Ceremony; Noon

The Kinsey Institute Gallery “Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze,” exhibit, art by women examining men; Ongoing, 1:30-5pm

IU Franklin Hall, Room 303 — Study Abroad 101; 4pm

IU Medical Arts Classroom BuildingCredit Counseling; 5:30pm

◗ IU Jacobs School of Music, Musical Arts CenterIU Black Graduates Congratulatory Ceremony; 7pm

Classic LanesPoker; 7pm

The Player’s PubStardusters; 7:30pm

Max’s PlaceOpen mic; 7:30pm

Bear’s PlaceJered Jacobs, Matt Woods, and David Bartlett; 8pm

The BluebirdRod Ruffcurls and the Benchpress; 8pm

IU Kirkwood ObservatoryStar-Gazing Open House; 9pm (rain or shine)

Uncle Elizabeth’sFree billiards; 10pm & midnight

Jake’s NightclubBattle of the Bands; 10pm

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