Category Archives: HL Mencken

The Pencil Today:


“In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.” — HL Mencken


Hey, GO! is back home.

Yeah, we were scheduled to start running our indispensable events listings on the new Ryder Magazine and Film Series website ages ago but, like all construction projects, it’s running late. Way, way late.

So we’ve decided to run the listings on The Pencil until the Ryder’s ready to go.

We know you’re ready to go — so go to GO! and figure out what you’re going to do today.


Indy radio station WXLW-AM switched to conservative talk from sports talk on September 10th.

The station, which billed itself as XL 950 until ten days ago, now calls itself Freedom 95. It features such deep thinkers as Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Michael Savage.

Laura Ingraham: Ann Coulter-Lite

Now, normally I’d run from political talk radio as swiftly as I would from the skunk that’s been hanging around my front yard in the middle of the night recently. That goes for liberal talk as well as conservative talk, although there isn’t much liberal talk radio in this holy land and it’s an especially rare commodity in these parts.

But I’ve been catching bits and pieces of Freedom 95’s new act because the station is programmed into my car radio. See, XL 95 was part of the Cincinnati Reds radio network until the programming shift.

Anybody who’s read this space knows I’m a rabid Cubs fan. “Rabid” being the operative word — I foam at the mouth and exhibit other signs of madness at the mere mention of the night of October 14th, 2003. But as much as I am a Cubs partisan, I’m equally devoted to the sport of baseball in general.

The Bartman Moment

I have absolutely zero rooting interest in the Reds. In fact, a vestigial distaste for them still lingers from the early 1970s when they were positioned as the short-haired, beardless, mustache-less, clean-cut, all-American boys — Nixon’s Team, as it were. Still, my passion for the game overcame my prejudice when I found that XL 950 offerede the only Major League Baseball broadcasts over the local airwaves. It had become a habit for me to tune the radio to AM 950 to see if there was a game on whenever I got into the car in the evening.

And then ten days ago, rather than hear the Texas drawl of “The Cowboy,” Reds announcer Jeff Brantley, talking balls and strikes, I was assaulted by the drone of reactionaries trying to drum up rage at the Muslim mole who now occupies the White House.

Last night I packed Steve the Dog into the car for one of our regular walks at Lake Monroe. As usual, I flicked on the radio and pressed the button for 950, hoping to catch the Reds playing, coincidentally enough, at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs’ David DeJesus Misplays A Ball In Last Night’s Loss

And again, I was reminded that my little diversion has been snatched away. The grating, agitating voice of Michael Savage spewed out of the speakers. Before I had a chance to reflexively flip the station, I became drawn in by his tales.

Savage was speculating on the make-up of the Mitt Romney cabinet. Romney, Savage is certain, will triumph (along with goodness, wholesomeness, whiteness, and unfettered capitalism) over Barack Obama in the November election. Savage threw out dozens of names for the various cabinet departments, including that of John Bolton for Secretary of State.

Bolton, you may recall, was George W. Bush’s ambassador to to United Nations. He is to diplomacy what a bacon double-cheeseburger is to good nutrition.

Bang — You’re Dead!

Anyway, once Savage cleaned up at State, he turned to the putative next president’s financial consigliere. Why haven’t we all been hearing, Savage wondered aloud, the name Donald Trump?

Trump, Savage explained, was the only Republican who could have whomped Obama. Truth. I heard him say this with my own fouled ears.

Romney will edge the best the Kanyan takeover conspiracy has to offer, sure, Savage allowed. But Trump would have mauled Obama with a good 20 percent plurality.

You Had Your Chance, America

Now, the sane among us recall Trump being unable to garner even ten percent support among likely Republican voters when he dropped out of the race in the spring. I’d imagine a poll of all Americans would indicate fewer than ten percent wonder what the point of existence is when it allows for the presence in it of Trump himself.

But Savage is certain Trump would wrest the nation from the clutches of the imams, with whom Barack Obama is inextricably tied.

And here’s why. Obama has tanked the American economy, Savage asserts, conveniently forgetting a few little things like the real estate crash, the stock market crash, and the Wall Street/big biz scandals that all occurred pre-Obama bin Laden.

Because Obama has destroyed America’s wealth, there are now scads of poor people. The poor, Savage pronounced, would welcome a Trump White House with open arms.

Again, truth. I heard these things with my own ears.

The media, Savage bleated, would have you believe the poor hate the rich. Au contraire, Savage would say if he could tolerate the existence of languages other than Ma & Pa Kettle’s sacred English.

Savage explained: The poor trust the rich to run this blessed land. The poor, he continued, know that the rich have their best interests at heart.

Everything I Do, I Do For The Poor!


Can the Republican Party really be this disconnected from reality?

Talk about rabid.



You’ve heard of these guys, no?

Yep, we’re back here for the time being.

The spanking new Ryder website is…, well, it’s somewhere. While Peter LoPilato and his army of computer geeks perfect the new site, we’ll be running Bloomington’s best events listings here, again. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

MUSIC FESTIVAL ◗ Downtown Bloomington, various locationsLotus World Music & Arts Festival; though Sunday, September 23rd, today’s acts:

  • At the Buskirk Chumley Theater — Lotus Thursday with Chris Smither & Ben Sollee; 7:30pm

MUSIC FESTIVAL ◗ Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park & Campground38th Annual Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame & Uncle Pen Days; through Saturday, September 22nd, today’s acts:

  • Audie Blaylock & Redline, The Grascals, Grasstowne, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, Sisk & Ramblers Choice, Larry Efaw & Mountaineers, Karl Shiflett & The Big Country Show, Tim Graves, Daryl Mosley & Farm Country

LECTURE ◗ IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, Bridgewaters Lounge — “After Global Hollywood: The Prospects and Perils of Chinese Media Capital,” presented by Michael Curtin; 4:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Bear’s PlaceTribute to John Coltrane; 5:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubBuilt for Comfort; 6:30pm

BOOKS ◗ IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture CenterJohn Edgar Wideman reads from his works, free & open to the public; 6:30pm

POETRY & MUSIC ◗ Blue Studio GalleryPoets Tony Brewer * Travers Marks read from their works, Jazz by Kyle Quass; 6:30pm

FREE CLASSES ◗ Hinkle-Garton Farmstead Historic SiteIntroduction to Irish Gaelic, 1st of eight weekly sessions through November 15th; 6:30pm

POLITICS ◗ Monroe County Public LibraryLeague of Women Voters Candidate Forum: State SEnate, District 40, and General Assembly, District 46, candidates; 7pm

LECTURE ◗ ISU University Hall Theater, Terre HauteUniversity Speakers Series: Lee Hamilton; 7pm

NATURE ◗ Monroe County Public Library — “The Monarch MIgration,” presented by Rachel Gliesmann; 7pm

PANEL DISCUSSION ◗ IU Asian Cultural Center — “A Changed America,” the effect of Asian & Latino immigrants on American culture, co-presented by the ACC & the Latino Cultural Center; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Cafe DjangoQuinn Sternberg Quartet; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Rachael’s CafeYer Heart, Wringer, The Shell Corp., Neal Meyer; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceTarpaper Turley; 8pm

FILM ◗ IU Memorial UnionUB Films: “The Amazing Spiderman;” 8pm

GAMES ◗ Serendipity Martini BarTeam trivia; 8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdThree Story Hill, Elephant Quiz; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopMono, Chris Brokaw; 9:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceElsie White; 10pm

FILM ◗ IU Memorial UnionUB Films: “The Amazing Spiderman;”11pm


ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “The Bolognese School,” by Annibale & Agostino Carracci, through September 16th
  • “New Acquisitions,” David Hockney; through October 21st
  • “Paragons of Filial Piety,” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi; through December 31st
  • “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers,” by Julia Margaret, Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan; through December 31st
  • French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century;” through December 31st
  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Pop-art by Joe Tilson; through December 31st
  • Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • What It Means to Be Human,” by Michele Heather Pollock; through September 29th
  • Land and Water,” by Ruth Kelly; through September 29th

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibit:

  • “Samenwerken,” Interdisciplinary collaborative multi-media works, Opening September 21st

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibit:

  • Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection;” through September 21st

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibit:

  • “CUBAmistad” photos

ART ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits:

  • “¡Cuba Si! Posters from the Revolution: 1960s and 1970s”
  • “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”
  • “Thoughts, Things, and Theories… What Is Culture?”
  • “Picturing Archaeology”
  • “Personal Accents: Accessories from Around the World”
  • “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”
  • “The Day in Its Color: A Hoosier Photographer’s Journey through Mid-century America”
  • “TOYing with Ideas”
  • “Living Heritage: Performing Arts of Southeast Asia”
  • “On a Wing and a Prayer”

BOOKS ◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit:

  • Outsiders and Others:Arkham House, Weird Fiction, and the Legacy of HP Lovecraft;” through November 1st
  • A World of Puzzles,” selections form the Slocum Puzzle Collection

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Soup’s OnExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Culture: “CUBAmistad photos; through October

ART ◗ Boxcar BooksExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Papercuts by Ned Powell; through September

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • Bloomington: Then and Now,” presented by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

ARTIFACTS ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • “Doctors and Dentists: A Look into the Monroe County Medical professions

The Electron Pencil. Go there. Read. Like. Share.

The Pencil Today:


“There has been no great political movement in the United States since Jefferson’s day without some purely moral balderdash at its center.” — H.L. Mencken




It’s Fall today.

At least it is according to the Indiana University calendar. Fall semester classes begin this morning.


Now, how about this dangerous goof, Todd Akin? The Senate candidate from Missouri has said “legitimate” rape does not generally result in pregnancy.

She’s Asking For It; Ergo, She’ll Get Pregnant

Akin — a Republican, as if you had to ask — claims doctors he knows have informed him that women’s bodies have an internally-produced magic elixir that makes pregnancy in such instances nearly impossible.

Let’s take Akin at his word — not, of course, about anything having to do with the human reproductive process; he’s an idiot on that subject — but about him having spoken with doctors.

Medical doctors, presumably.

If so, each and every one of them should have his medical license revoked forthwith.

BTW, folks, here’s yet another chicken coming home to roost thanks to the Republican War on Science.

BTW II: Fox News online at 8:15am EDT has not even mentioned the story.


How cool is this?

The Earth’s Water

The image is from the US Geological Survey;the blue bead represents all the water on the Earth.

According to the USGS, that bead also includes all the “groundwater, atmospheric water, and even the water in you, your dog, and your tomato plant.”


So all our deepest lakes, seas, and oceans make up the flimsiest skin of H20 hugging our planet’s surface.

Of course, when your boat’s going down in the middle of Lake Monroe, it doesn’t feel that way.

Nevertheless, this is just another illustration of how insignificant we are.

You know how people who want to persuade you to accept Jesus or Allah or Zoroaster hit you with the You have to give yourself over to something bigger than you are line?

Well, guess what — everything‘s bigger than we are.


Seems as though musicians are going hog wild these days, oinking about Barack Obama. First it was Dave Mustaine, then Hank Williams, Jr., and now Ted Nugent jumps into the slop.

My lefty and lib friends are all aflutter that Nugent was quoted as saying, “…Obama represents everything bad about humanity….”

Okay, that’s pretty deranged but it’s got nuffin’ on the line that followed: “…and Romney pretty much all that is good. It is really that stark.”

Willard Romney represents all that is good about humanity?

Honestly, Ted?


The Best Our Species Has To Offer?

You know, Nugent also commented after the Supreme Court decision on the Obama health care reforms, “I’m beginning to wonder it it would have been best had the South won the Civil War.”

So really, can’t we can stop pussyfooting around and say it like it is? Ted Nugent not only spouts a controversial political opinion or two, but he’s a racist jerk.


Al Jazeera English takes on the Koch boys.

A Couple Of Kochs

Read it. If a media outlet targeting the Arab world scares the poo out of you, then read Jane Mayer’s New Yorker piece on the Billionaire Boner Boys from a couple of years ago.

Of course, you may think all Arabs and liberals are against good, rich American boys like Davey and Chuckie who pretty much own the nation. If so, I ask you this: after studying their positions and their tactics, do you really want to be on their side?

And are you certain they’re on yours?

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.

I Love ChartsLife as seen through charts.

I Love Charts

XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

SkepchickWomen scientists look at the world and the universe.

IndexedAll the answers in graph form, on index cards.

I Fucking Love ScienceA Facebook community of science geeks.

I Fucking Love Science: Closeups Of A Leaf And Human Blood Vessels, And A Satellite View Of The Amazon Basin

Present/&/CorrectFun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.

Flip Flop Fly BallBaseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.

Mental FlossFacts.

SodaplayCreate your own models or play with other people’s models.

Eat Sleep DrawAn endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.

Big ThinkTapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.

The Daily PuppySo shoot me.

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

Monday, August 20, 2012

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Creek Dogs; 6-8:30pm

◗ IU CinemaFilm: “Surviving Life”; 7pm

Cafe DjangoBloomington Short List, hosted by Marta Jasicki, ten-minute variety acts; 7-9pm

Buskirk-Chumley TheaterJohn Hiatt & the Combo; 8pm

The BishopPomegranates, The Broderick; 9pm

The Player’s PubSongwriter Showcase: Russ Baum, Jenna Epkey, La Jeder, Monika Herzig; 8pm

The BluebirdDave Walters karaoke; 9pm


◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; through September 1st

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “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:

  • Coming — Media Life; August 24th through September 15th

  • Coming — Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture; August 24th through September 15th

◗ 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 CulturesClosed for semester break, reopens Tuesday, August 21st

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

The Pencil Today:


“We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.” — HL Mencken


How are your preparations going for the National Day of Reason Thursday?

Is all your shopping done? Have you wrapped all your presents?

Yeah, Thursday’s the day the godless among us celebrate our holy atheism. There’s even a brave politician who admits being one of us — US Congressman Pete Stark of California.


He’s gambling, of course, with his “eternal soul” that there is no invisible Big Daddy-o in the Sky. It’s the ultimate risk-reward conundrum. The argument has been made that it makes much more sense to believe in god because, if it turns out there is such a character, the believer will be rewarded in paradise and the non-believer will be, well, screwed.

In fact, should the gambler who’s a believer lose the proposition, s/he actually loses nothing. If the Great Croupier does exist, then, the non-believing gambler suffers endlessly in the company of the souls of Hitler, Stalin, and Donald Trump.

“Your Suite Is Ready, Sir. Welcome To The Afterlife.”

Nice god, huh?

I never argue with folks who are believers. First, I can’t prove the non-existence of anything. As James Randi says, no one can prove a negative. Therefore, I won’t spend time and energy arguing a point which may sometime in the future be proved by late-breaking evidence. Absence of evidence proves only that, um, evidence was absent the last time I looked.

Sheesh, these philosophical excursions are rough. The road is laden with logical fallacies.

Anyway, I want to respect the beliefs of people who, er, uh, believe. They say they have faith, which I believe. If so, then I don’t want to lure them into a rational argument, since that would violate the very definition of the term faith.

Aren’t I Christ-like?

Like Two Peas In A Pod

Even more important, I don’t want to bum them out. Honest. The realization that there is no god is really depressing.

I mean, here you are spending all your life wishing, hoping, and praying for a big, all-powerful being who loves you with all his enormous heart. Not only that, when you die, you get to go to heaven (assuming, of course, that you never took another human being’s life, fondled a child, or voted Republican) and have a party with all the most well-behaved people who’ve ever lived. Oh, and god and his archangels will all be there and no one will ever have to pay taxes or worry about a strange new lump.

It all seems rather comforting, no?

Why should I try to kill that buzz? Have at it, believers; I hope it gets you through this weird, confusing, often painful life.

You oughta see some of the things I do to get through my day.

So you’ll never hear me trying to convince anyone that there is no god. I only say (mostly to myself) there is no god. I have no interest in being the attorney for the atheists until they start paying me like one.

Thursday, though, I’ll happily crow to the world: There is no god!

I hope I don’t get struck by lightning. The way people talk about this god fellow, it seems he has a nasty temper.

“Alright, Alright — I’m Sorry!”


A bunch of IU folks got together yesterday and discussed the future of the university’s Office of Women’s Affairs.

Man, I didn’t know infidelity had become so institutionalized.


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

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Monroe County Courthouse SquareBloomington Quarry Morris Dancers, May Day Morris Dance; 6:45-7:45am

Bloomington Quarry Morris Dancers

Trinity Episcopal ChurchExhibit, collaborative mosaic tile project; 9am-4pm

Monroe County Public LibraryExhibit, “Muse Whisperings, water color paintings done by residents of Sterling House; through May 31st, 9am-9pm

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, 9am-4:30pm

People’s ParkLunch Concert Series with Cindy Kallet and Grey Larsen; 11:30am

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

IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibit, “Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze”; through June 29th, 1:30-5pm

“Eric With Flowers” By Laura Hartford, Kinsey Institute Gallery

The Venue Fine Art & GiftsPainting demonstration by Dawn Adams; 5:30pm

Jake’s NightclubKaraoke; 6pm

IU CinemaStudent Showcase, 3D Film; 6:30pm

Rachael’s CafeThe Golden Hour; 8pm

Max’s PlaceComics’ Night; 8pm

The BishopSpirit of ’68 Presents: Vandaveer with deadghost; 9pm


Vintage Phoenix Comic BooksListening party, “The Best Show on WFMU”; 9pm-midnight

IU CinemaIndiana Filmmakers Network Short Films: Made in Bloomington; 9:30pm

Rachael’s CafeWringer, Arms Aloft; 10pm

The Pencil Today:


“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” — H.L. Mencken


Our boy Newty has created a brand new bete noir.

You may recall that almost 20 years ago Newt Gingrich, as the virtual capo of the Republican Party, wrote the infamous “GOPac Memo.”

Mob Chieftan

The memo advised Republican candidates for Congress that specific words and phrases would galvanize public opinion for the GOP and against the Dems. In fact, the memo’s title was “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control.”

Gingrich was convinced that the repetition of these words would create indelible images within the minds of voters, much like a TV sitcom hypnotist’s use of trigger words.

Here are some of the words Gingrich recommended Republicans use to associate with themselves and their party:

  • Common sense
  • Confident
  • Courage
  • Duty
  • Family
  • Liberty
  • Moral
  • Pro-flag
  • Proud
  • Strength
  • Tough
  • Truth

As for the Democrats, Gingrich urged his confreres use these terms:

  • Anti-flag
  • Bizarre
  • Cheat
  • Collapse
  • Decay
  • Disgrace
  • Impose
  • Lie
  • Pathetic
  • Radical
  • Shame
  • Sick
  • Taxes
  • They/them
  • Traitors
  • Waste

Democrats, According To The GOPac Memo

You had to figure the word taxes would be in there. The first word a Republican infant utters upon emerging from the womb is taxes.

Garry Trudeau in his “Doonesbury” strip called the GOPac memo “The Magna Carta of attack politics.”

Anyway, the single most damning, uncomplimentary, insulting word on the list would turn out to be liberal.

To be branded a liberal was tantamount to being barred from winning another election for the rest of your life.

One of the reasons the Democrats so infuriate me is that, instead of embracing the liberal label, they ran from it as if it was analogous to child molester.

Otherwise Known As The List Of Prominent Liberals In Indiana

Thanks in huge part to the GOPac memo, the GOP staged its mini-revolution in the election of 1994. The party gained control of both the House and the Senate and Gingrich became the Speaker of the House.

Say what you will about the craven, cynical nature of the memo, it worked. And Newty is nothing if not an astute politician.

Today, you can be forgiven for thinking liberals don’t even exist in this holy land.

So, now that the Georgia Doughboy is running for president, he finds himself in need of another monster under the bed. He has found it. And he’s got a name for it.

Gingrich’s sworn enemy in these Republican primaries is Mitt Romney. Ergo, Romney must become Newty’s new Godzilla or John Wayne Gacy.


This week, Newty found the damning terminology for Romney. Since the liberal dragon has been slain, Gingrich has had to move the enemy bar lower.

Here’s the crushing epithet Gingrich now uses against Romney: He’s a Massachusetts moderate.

The horror — a moderate.

Yep. That’s what he called Romney this week, his voice dripping with Newt-ish contempt. “I am the only viable conservative candidate,” Newty added.

Yikes. If these Great United States, Inc. move any further to the right, Ronald Reagan’s gonna be lumped together with Abbie Hoffman.


Some of my pals on the far left seem to be going just as batty as Newty — only, of course, in the opposite direction. A lot of radical bloggers and Facebook-posters are so disgusted with the wishy-washy politics of Barack Obama that they’re actively calling for his defeat this November.

They say, What’s the difference between Obama and the Republicans?

Well, I have the answer, in three words: Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The nation’s second female US Supreme Court Associate Justice will turn 79 in March. She’s already been walloped in recent years by colon cancer and pancreatic cancer. She’s as frail as a newborn robin. Plus, she has indicated she’d like to retire at the age of 82, which would mean whoever is president in 2015 will select her successor.

I shudder to think of who Newty Gingrich or Rick Santorum might tap to become the sixth conservative member of that august ennead.

Ann Coulter?

She’s No Moderate


Boxcar Books hosted a book release party for Bloomington’s Julia Karr last night, before the region was iced in.

Karr’s new book, “Truth,” is the sequel to her young adult dystopian novel, “XVI” (or “Sixteen” for the Latin-deprived among us.)

She read a few pages from the fresh tome and took questions from the audience. Karr then revealed she has to split up her writing session each day, sitting at her keyboard for a few hours each morning before going to her day job and then doing the same thing after work.

As expected at these affairs, there were plenty of questions about how an unpublished author can break into the business. Karr kindly advised the wannabe scribes on how to write the perfect query letter and how frustrating and heartbreaking the whole process of trying to get a first book published is.

Karr handled the questions better than I would have. Forget about getting your book published, I’d have advised. Try something easier, like climbing Denali in the middle of winter.


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