Category Archives: Jim Hightower

Hot Air

The Mob

Ralph Nader quotes Jim Hightower in Saturday’s Huffington Post:

Assume you ran a business that was found guilty of bribery, forgery, defrauding homeowners, fleecing investors, swindling consumers, cheating credit card holders, violating US trade laws, and bilking American soldiers. Can you even imagine the punishments you’d get? Howe about zero? Nada. Nothing. Zilch. No jail time. Not even a fine. Plus, you get to stay on as boss, you get to keep all the loot you gained from the crime spree, and you even get an $8.5 million pay raise!

The hoodlum H-tower speaks of would  be the big boss of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, a man whom, Nader reminds us, proclaims for all the world to hear that he is “so damn proud of this company.”

Dimon

“Proud”

We keep forgetting that reprobates like Dimon were responsible for crashing the entire world’s economy back in the mid-aughts. It wasn’t socialism, or communism, or same-sex marriage, or legalized pot, or a Manchurian Candidate president from Kenya, or even god’s will that millions more Americans now live below the poverty line, millions are unemployed, municipalities are going broke, school budgets are being slashed, libraries are closing, and…, and…, oh, it’s all too depressing.

All those ills were brought to us courtesy of the Liar’s Poker, casino-mentality, degenerate gamblers in fancy Wall Street offices (and their coat-holders in Congress).

They all are the very definition of mobsters.

Trade Rumors

Here’s an idea regarding the development of some land along the B-Line Trail that cuts through central Bloomington. Habitat for Humanity wants to develop a little strip of woods along the Trail, just northwest of downtown B-town. So the city’s angling for a zoning variance to allow HforH to build a couple of dozen homes for the needy there.

Habitat/B-Line

Habitat’s B-Line Neighborhood Is Next Door To…

And, according to folks who don’t think much of the idea, the city’s positioning the question as an either-or: either you want to help Habitat do its good works or you don’t. The problem acc’d’g to some, is that Habitat’s property is the last lush green space near downtown. That, and it is apparently going to be difficult to develop.

Instead, say a group of petitioners, the city and Habitat should swap land. The city-owned Certified Tech Park butts up against the Woods parcel. The CTP already is zoned for high-density residential development, the argument goes, and much of the land is cleared.

Bloomington CTP

…Bloomington’s Certified Tech Park

The simple solution? Let HforH build its homes on the Tech Park site and let the city take over the Woods and transform that land into a Parks & Rec facility.

If you buy this argument, slap your sig. on the petition calling for the land swap.

Then again, if you think the city’s gonna let low-income folks live in its shiny new neighborhood, you must believe you live in a liberal college town.

A Dickens Of A Tale

Overheard at Soma the other day, a barista talking to a customer:

My parents told me my actual last name was Nintendo. When I was about six, they said I was the heir to the Nintendo family fortune but that my original parents disowned me because they didn’t like the way I looked. So I was adopted.

Does too much coffee do that to people?

The End Is Near — Maybe

And finally, it took a foreign newspaper to report on disturbing study by this holy land’s own NASA. Our Murrican space geeks have sponsored some alarming research with the help of scads of scientists from a variety of disciplines that show humanity’s present rate of consumption and excretion could potentially topple our whole house of cards within a few decades.

Fin

We’re using so much stuff and belching so much of our wastes into the air, the water, and the soil that our civilization itself could collapse of its own weight. Don’t laugh — countless civilizations before us have gone all to hell for a screwing up what they knew of the world a lot less than we are.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has submitted the study to the peer-reviewed journal of the International Society for the Journal of Ecological Economics. That gang contemplates stuff like this; you know, how much it costs us as a species to make sure everybody’s got all the latest hand-held devices and to keep our petro-plutocracy in charge of, well, everything.

Natch, Murrican newspapers and TV news outlets haven’t touched this thing yet because it has nothing to do with Justin Beiber or a white man shooting an unarmed black kid. Those, of course, are the only topics of import in this mad, mad, world.

Anyway, the study doesn’t come right out and say we’re doomed, only that we could be. There’s a chance, see? Except folks who think scientists are a political party would pooh-pooh the report out of hand, if only they had the intellect to understand it.

Inhofe Book Cover

And here’s a conclusion the study makes that’s sure to make Ma & Pa Kettle bristle: We ought to stop having so many kids. Yup, overpopulation is strangling us, the study sez. There ain’t enough raw stuff on this planet to manufacture the products needed to satisfy all 7B of us. The conclusion is, those of us who have need to make sure that the rest of us have not; otherwise, we lucky few won’t have as much as we want.

Yeesh. So, when’s the last time you read the word overpopulation in your morning newspaper? Or heard the word uttered by a blonde, lacquered anchor lady?

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“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

THE DEMS COME OUT SWINGING?

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.

Tilford

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.

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?

THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS…, FOR THE TIME BEING

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?

Relic?

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.

Hightower

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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