Category Archives: Jonathan George

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

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the universe. That makes us something very special.” — Stephen Hawking

THE TRADITIONS OF THE LITTLE 500

One of the Boys of Soma, who asked not to be identified, revealed Saturday morning that he did not find any passed-out drunk IU students on his front porch, as he usually does every year during Little 500 weekend.

He did say he found a number of slices of pizza on the lawn, though.

The Delta Gamma sorority won the women’s Little Five on Friday. The Indiana Daily Student reports that three ancient Greek letters won the men’s race Saturday afternoon. The Cyrillic alphabet of the Slavic languages is expected to appeal the result.

Controversy After This Year’s Little 500

KIDS ASK THE DARNEDEST THINGS

Mark off Tuesday, April 24th, on your calendars. Bloomington’s teenagers that evening will hold the Democratic candidates’ feet to the fire in a debate between the five contenders at Bloomington High School South.

The Kids Take Over

Students from both South and North will hurl question at Gen. Jonathan George, John Griffin Miller, Col. John Tilford, Robert Winningham, and Shelli Yoder for an hour and a half beginning at 7:00pm.

The Indiana primary will be held Tuesday, May 8th, with the winner among the five Democrats going against first-term Republican Todd Young in November.

The things that make most high school kids annoying should come in quite handy in the debate. Corporate media animals generally ask polite or at least irrelevant questions. The kids, though, being direct and irreverent, ought to pepper the candidates with queries about the schools, the environment, our endless wars, taxes, and other things that, like, y’know, affect us.

Todd Young looks like a good bet to keep his seat in the general election but I can always hope.

IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD COUNTRY

Gather all the children and bring them indoors. Lock your doors and windows and pull down the shades.

This holy land has officially and incontrovertibly gone mad.

Orly Taitz is running for the United States Senate from California.

Taitz

Taitz is challenging the Golden State’s senior senator, Dianne Feinstein, who’s been in office since 1992. California runs a blanket non-partisan primary for statewide elective office. The candidates who finish first and second in the June 5th primary will face each other in the November general election.

I have no idea how this one got past me. Apparently, Taitz has been running since early November, when she told some EPA-hating, Ann Coulter-carrying news aggregator website about her plans. The announcement of her candidacy did not cause the nation’s news media to activate the Emergency Alert System.

I may even have seen a quickie story on her quixotic run but the rational part of my brain reflexively interpreted it as an Onion-style satire.

Really, everything about Taitz seems to be an Onion satire. For instance, when she was considering her run for the Senate back in September, she told the Sacramento Bee that one of the reasons she has a good chance to win is that she speaks Hebrew.

Hebrew?

Perhaps she once watched the Cecil B, DeMille epic “The Ten Commandments” and upon learning it was made in Hollywood, concluded that biblical Israel was really in California.

This Occurred Near Anaheim

I mean, what else could explain Taitz-ness other than her and her followers’ inability to distinguish between reality and fiction?

Taitz’s claim to fame is her role as “Queen of the Birthers.” She’s certain Barack Obama has falsified his birth certificate, his Social Security number, and his college transcripts, among other nefarious acts, to become the first secret Muslim mole elected president. She believes Obama comes from Kenya, which is fitting because she comes from the moon.

Orly Taitz’s Childhood Home

Survey USA earlier this month conducted a poll of likely California voters and found that the incumbent Feinstein leads all comers with 51 percent. Taitz in the same poll drew a single percentage point, placing her in a tie for fourth pace with 11 other candidates and above nine candidates who couldn’t even garner one percent of the vote.

Still, some political animals think Taitz could sneak into the second spot based purely on name recognition alone.

Democracy, my friends, can be a very dangerous thing.

WHAT TO DO? WHAT TO DO?

[Ed.’s Note: Welcome to the next phase of The Electron Pencil’s growth. From here on out, we’ll be running daily events listings in a section we’re naming Go. Many of this weekend’s listings are late because we’re still messing with the layout and design. What you see here now might not be what you see in ten minutes. So consider this installment of Go to be your beta version. Indulge us — we want to see how things look and work. Be here tomorrow, though, for the real thing. Thanks.]

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

Sunday, April 22, 2012

◗ Kent Farm, IU Research & Teaching Preserve — Bird hike with IU Biology Professors Susan and Jim Hengeveld; 7am

◗ IU Tennis Center — IU Women’s Tennis vs. Northwestern; 11am

◗ Madame Walker Theatre — Wet Your Pants Comedy Film Fest; 12pm

◗ Sembower Field — IU Baseball vs. Georgie Southern; 1pm

◗ IU Softball Field — IU Softball vs. Northwestern, doubleheader; 2pm

◗ Sweeney Hall — Music & Video Recital, Jeffrey Haas and John Gibson; 2pm

◗ Monroe Lake, Paynetown SRA — Monroe Lake Volunteer Call-Out; 3:30pm

◗ Player’s Pub — Benefit for the Red Cross; 3-8pm

◗ Max’s Place — Project School Poetry Ready; 3:30pm

◗ The Kinsey Institute — opening reception, exhibit, “Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze”; 4-7pm

◗ Bub’s Burgers — Poker; 5:30pm

◗ IU Cinema — DW Griffith film, “Orphans of the Storm”; 6:30pm

◗ Bear’s Place — Ryder Film Series: “Chico and Rita”; 7pm

◗ Buskirk-Chumley Theater — Trashion Refashion; 7pm

◗ IU Auditorium — European Union Youth Orchestra, 7pm

◗ Merrill Hall, Recital Hall — All-Campus Orchestra, Benjamin Bolter, conductor; 8:30pm

◗ IU Auditorium — “An Overture to Europe Day” Reception, 9pm

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.” — EB White

THE SADDEST OBIT OF ALL TIME

Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times found this passing so sad that he actually gave a plug (and a link) to his paper’s competitor, the Tribune. The Sun-Times as well as every other corporate media outlet in this holy land were scooped by a Trib reporter.

Facts, the reporter has learned, are dead.

We must face the facts: there are no more facts.

We all knew they were lingering for a long while now. Still, their demise shocks us. They suffered terribly. Thankfully, they are in a better place now.

Sadly, nothing I write can do justice to this mournful turn of events. So, read Rex W. Huppke’s final notice for these very dear old friends.

Farewell

BE A SMART VOTER

Hey, have you checked out the April edition of Ryder magazine yet?

In addition to all the usual invaluable arts and culture stuff, editor Peter LoPilato dispatched an intrepid reporter to delve into the private lives of the five candidates running for the Democratic nomination for Congress in Indiana’s ninth district.

“The Chair Recognizes The Representative From The Great State of Indiana.”

(By the way, reliable sources are saying the reporter is handsome and charming as well as being intrepid. The Electron Pencil is working to verify these statements at this time.)

Anyway, the five running in the Dem primary, May 5th, are Gen. Jonathan George, John Griffin Miller, Col. John Tilford, Robert Winningham, and Shelli Yoder.

I pooh-poohed Yoder’s candidacy in this space previously. I fixated on her background as a beauty queen. Now she has amassed a batch of endorsements from local political and private heavyweights. Shows what I know, no?

Proving Me Wrong?

The five candidates reveal themselves in the Ryder piece in ways they might never have imagined before they decided to run for public office. We learn for instance, whose father once caught a foul ball off the bat of Bill Buckner at Wrigley Field, who can actually speak conversational Comanche, whose first album was the Jefferson Airplane’s “Surrealistic Pillow,” and who dreamed of being a member of Doctors without Borders.

Early Endorsement?

The grilling LoPilato’s ace reporter gave each of the candidates was so thorough that one admitted he was driven to tears (when he recounted his favorite childhood memory).

Pick up the Ryder today. Unfortunately, you can’t get the issue online yet. The Ryder’s long awaited internet presence still is nothing but a dream. If you’ve got a spare minute, drop Peter an email and tell him you’d love to see him step into at least the 1990s.

Oh, and ladies, that handsome, charming, intrepid reporter? Forget it — he’s happily hitched.

TAKE FIVE

Speaking of fave childhood memories, here’s one of mine. I’d be able to stay up late on weeknights during summer vacation. WGN-TV would have two movies on after the nightly news. Between the two there’d be a half hour newsbreak called “Night Beat” featuring the somnolent Carl Greyson.

The poor guy — he could put you to sleep reporting on the end of the world. Then again, his hypnotic delivery might have been perfect for 12:30am.

The original theme song for “Night Beat” was this Dave Brubeck classic. It was my first introduction to sophisticated music. I was nine or ten and I loved it.

“Take Five” will forever remind me of those free, long summer nights.

The Pencil Today:

THE (VIDEO) QUOTE

Courtesy of the White Rabbit.

RICK ‘N ROLL

A couple of things about my favorite Martian, Rick Santorum, before I get into the meat of today’s post.

  1. Yesterday, speaking before a crowd in Arizona, Rickey-girl slammed the Obama health care bill, natch. But he acknowledged that part of Obama’s reasoning was that every citizen should have the right to health care. Haharights. “When the government gives you rights, they can take those rights away,” he spewed. I’ve never thought about it that way before. I guess Martin Luther King, Jr. and all his cronies, were they still alive, would regret the enactments of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts. Because, after all, who cares about rights when they can be taken away?
  2. Pennsylvania’s man-in-the-closet is taking heat for casting aspersions on Obama’s “theology.” He has declared he will not step back from the statements because they came from his heart. You know, that’s why Republican Cro-Magnons are attractive to a lot of voters. They won’t back down. It’d be refreshing to hear a Democrat once in a while saying, Screw it, I said it and I believe it, no matter how many people think I should apologize.

BALLOT BOXERS

Speaking of Democrats, the Monroe County party faithful gathered together last night in the Fountain Square ballroom to pat themselves on the back and tell each other how badly they’re going to spank the GOP this coming November.

Even Mayor Mark Kruzan emerged from his cocoon to press the flesh.

Kruzan Has Been Seen In Public Before

Dem hopefuls running in the May primary for city, county, and statewide offices were introduced by the somnolent county party chair Rick Dietz during last evening’s finger-food love fest.

BTW: perhaps Dietz does a fine job maintaining the records of the party, or maybe he finds the best deals on yard signs and bumper stickers. But when it comes to rallying the troops, Steven Wright would be a more emphatic orator.

Anyway, the star of the show was the mustachioed John Gregg, who’s running for governor. He grabbed the mic out of Dietz’s hand when he was introduced and wowed the crowd. The man has charisma in addition to that big furry thing on his upper lip.

A Hirsute Governor?

The five brave souls running for US Congress from Indiana’s 9th District met the flock as a unit for the first time. In fact, some of them met the flock for the first time, period.

At least three of the contenders threw their hats into the ring within the last few weeks. They’re all earnest and most of them paid lip-service to the memory of liberal Dem representative Frank McCloskey as well as the sainted Lee Hamilton. But from this vantage point, it seems likely the only one with a ghost of a chance to unseat Congressboy Todd Young is Shelli Yoder.

McCloskey: Local Hero

I came down hard on Yoder Monday. She’s best known as Miss Indiana 1992 and earned a second runner-up spot in that year’s Miss America drool-fest. Apparently, she’d earned her second-lieutenancy by smoking up the pageant stage in her swimsuit.

Being a licensed and certified smart-ass, I felt compelled to make fun of her beauty-queen past. But smart pols like Regina Moore and Linda Robbins dig her the most, so I can’t discount their evaluations.

On the other hand, I spoke to a couple of female pols last night who want to see more from Yoder — and they weren’t talking skin, either.

Here are the Dems running for the nomination:

I haven’t got time right now to reveal my impressions of the gang (there’s the little matter of catching my bus to get to the Book Corner) but I’ll run them all through my wringer within the next few days. It should be fun.

SEX, SEX, SEX!

Back to the-man-whom-Google-made-famous, Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times decided to check out his website. Steinberg reveals the results of his research in today’s column.

Steinberg

His conclusions? What I’ve been saying all along, these theocratic right wingers think about sex, sex, sex, and more sex.

To be frank, I do, too. As do you, I’ll bet. But, speaking for myself, I don’t flagellate myself for those thoughts.

And yeah, I tried the whole whipping-for-fun trick once. Didn’t do much for me. Still, I don’t run around screaming that my S&M pals ought to be banished to a desert island.

Maybe, Rickey-girl should try it. Could it be that’s what he really wants?

THE REAL RICK?

 

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